5 Ways Automation Has Transformed Farming
Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Since the earliest days of industrialization, farming has been at the leading edge of technological innovation. Grain mills were among the first machines commonly used, with modern roller mills and rotary mills liberating farmers from millers. The world will always need farmers, and as more and more people depend on fewer and fewer farmers, it becomes even more important that farmers are able to do their job and do it well.
These days, automation is one of the leading ways in which technology is transforming farming for the better, and here are five ways that automation has transformed and continues to transform farming.
GPS has changed the way the world navigates, and while Amazon depends on this technology to get its packages to its customers' doorstep on time, no one has benefited as much from it as farmers. In the past, farmers would eyeball the path of their tractors using landmarks, but overlaps and gaps in planting, spraying, and harvesting could dramatically impact the yield, especially for small farmers.
How Grain Rolling Preserves Moisture
To properly process high moisture grain, 95% of the kernels need to be cracked. Achieving this high rate of crack each time you process feed can be tricky, but not with a roller mill. Our machines are designed to produce the right amount of crack, in a manner that is predictability uniform – every time. Rolling and crimping grain are necessary before the use of additives that preserve moisture for the months to come.
Automated guidance makes sure that the boundaries of a field are precise and that crops get the care they need without wastage. Studies show that automated guidance can improve farm efficiency by 20%!
Food safety is a critical concern to farmers and consumers. Farmers want to make sure they don't get blamed when someone else's crop makes people sick. And if their crop is making people sick, they want to know why so they can fix it. Plus, nobody wants to waste safe food when only small amounts are contaminated.
New automated tracing based on blockchain technology can help trace crops with precision, making sure that we know exactly where the problems are so that we can minimize wastage and improve production.
Livestock requires constant care to keep it at top health, but these operations can be labor-intensive. It's hard to constantly work the farm, removing manure, checking the status of the animals, and ensuring a steady supply of feed. But automation can keep watch on livestock 24/7, watching for signs of disease and maintaining the condition of the barn for the optimal health of the animals. This helps the animals stay healthy, dramatically improving the long-term yield of operations.
Customized Growing Conditions
If you look at a field of corn, it's remarkable how uniform in height it can be. But then there are divots where it didn't grow as well, or perhaps even holes where nothing grew at all. This is because the microclimate or microconditions of the soil can dramatically impact the growth of a crop.
With new automation, farmers can detect these variations and respond to them appropriately so that every plant grows to its full potential, improving the yield of a farm.
It used to be that farmers had to be on-site to watch their farm. If they didn't have a reliable second or farmhand, they couldn't leave the farm at all during the growing season. And they had to constantly walk the farm to monitor its conditions.
But now remote monitoring lets farmers check on the conditions of their farm without traveling over their acreage. They can monitor it from their farmhouse, from in town, or even while on vacation.
The Benefits of Automation
In recent years, automation technology has improved dramatically, and the result is significant benefits for farmers. This includes not just a greater yield, but reduced dependence on labor, leading to greater profitability.
This profitability and the advantage of remote monitoring mean greater freedom for farmers, who are no longer shackled to the land, but can move around easily and even take vacations at the height of summer.
If you want to learn more about how our grain mills can integrate with the latest automation techniques, please contact Automatic Equipment Manufacturing today.