The AgBot

A system that can completely control data and record, plus monitor farms and agriculture areas. This system for helping farmers is called AgBot. What are AgBots? An AgBot gathers and stores information to its computer system that can then be accessed online by using a smartphone or computer. AgBots are solar powered, compact, and robust, which means that it can be deployed for up to weeks at a time (agbot.org). This robot is a new system to help farmers on their land, and to keep information organized an accessible.

AgBots can perform a lot of duties to benefit farmers. These dues are monitoring irrigation and water levels, remotely turning pumps or appliances on and off, sending sms alerts during specific events, monitoring and recording rainfall, humidity, soil, air temperature, soil content, and electricity use, and recording upload or sms photos in real time (agbot.org). AgBots can perform numerous tasks, but this is only a small list of the tasks an AgBot can do. AgBots can operate independently for long periods of time because they are solar powered with rechargeable batteries. This device is all of the electronic luxuries we have in the world combined into one robot that can do all of the work on its own. As of right now, there are five AgBots available through order from Australia.

The five AgBots are WaterBot, SuperBot, SpyBot, ActionBot, and FieldBot. Each bot completes different tasks for its specific duties that are wanted. WaterBot, ActionBot, and SpyBot can be purchased for $199. While the FieldBot is $299, and the SuperBot is $599. These robots are a new technology movement to improve farmer’s efficiency on the farm. It also improves that amount of accurate data farmers collect on a regular basis. Technology improves to help peoples lives become easier, and helps the ones the need the most help. Farmers need the most help because of the long days and nights they spend working. These systems can help a farmer in any way needed, but the biggest benefit is all of the stored information available to access on a computer or smartphone. Technology is the new helping hand for famers, and the implementation of it could lead to great success on the farm.

“AgBot.” - Agricultural Robotics. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2014. <http://agbot.org/&gt;.

Vertical Farming: Feeding the World in a New Way

Vertical farming is one of the new technologically advanced methods to produce more goods and produce for the population. It is estimated by the year of 2050, 80% of the world’s population will mostly reside in in urban areas, and the human population will also increase by three billion (verticalfarm.com). The most logical solution to provide food for all these people in urban areas is vertical farming. Vertical farms can be set up in urban areas and the buildings are staked up with different produce and livestock on each floor.

Technology will need to be fully used to feed the world by 2050. Vertical farms are the new way to feed the world, and vertical farms are in the production process. One vertical farm being built is located in Singapore. The farm is a 26 story towers high and will contain organic local vegetation. Solar panels will be used to generate 40% of the energy required to run the facility. Another form of energy will be human waste, which is converted into energy by on-site-bio-gas facility (Inspiration Green). This is only one vertical farm, and it is uses very little resources and energy to produce all the goods that are required for consumers.

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10548

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10548

Vertical farms are the future of agriculture, but only for urban areas. As of right now, the farm ground that we have now will mostly be preserved, unless the world continues to increase in population and the farm ground gets taken over. Vertical farms will help urban areas obtain the necessities they need without farmers transporting goods into the city for the consumers. The farm is also extremely green, and will not harm the environment. There are very many benefits in vertical farming, but who would have ever thought a farm could be built in a tower in the middle of a city?

Despommier, Dickson. “The Vertical Farm.” The Vertical Farm RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. <http://www.verticalfarm.com/&gt;.

“Vertical Farms.” Vertical Farms. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <http://www.inspirationgreen.com/vertical-farms.html&gt;.

Keep It Cool

Keeping products fresh is very important after the harvesting process due to the products being sold for a profit. A cooling facility is what farmers use to transport their goods to the market. What is the importance of a cooling system? Well, as I stated before, a cooling system keeps products fresh. Who wants bad products? I know I don’t, and I am not the only consumer that thinks that way. No one wants to go to the market and purchase bad tomatoes. Purchasing bad produce completely ruins a whole meal, and makes the person have to run to the store again to purchase better produce. It is a win-win situation for consumers and farmers because farmers can keep their produce fresh for consumers, and consumers can buy the fresh produce and enjoy it. Consumers will keep buying the farmers produce if it is fresh and delicious at the market, which will allow farmers to generate a steady income.

Different forms of cooling can be used for keeping produce fresh. These forms are water, ice, and forced air. Each method can be used, but the method that is chosen depends on the product being transported (Schneider, Goodrich-Schneider, Archer). The major factor when deciding what method to use is determining what method will have the lowest risk of food contamination. The method best suited for this responsibility is the air-cooling system. With air-cooling systems, transporters and farmers do not have to worry about the water or ice containing microbial contamination (Schneider, Goodrich-Schneider, Archer). That is why this system is the most frequently used in transportation vehicles.

The main goal of cooling systems is to fight off heat stress that can turn produce bad. “During transport, produce is rarely held under optimum environmental conditions; approximately 40% of the vegetables never make it to the supermarket shelves due to damage during transit (Benkeblia). To prevent this, transporters need to be aware of the temperature in the trailers because produce temperature is the most important component in good produce. Cooling technology allows produce to be shipped across countries, and farmers would not have this ability in earlier years.. Their income will increase, and more consumers can experience their products. Technology allows farmers to do more things than every before.

Schneider, Keith R., Renee Goodrich-Schneider, and Douglas L. Archer. “Food Safety on the Farm: Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices—Water1.” EDIS New Publications RSS. N.p., 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs136&gt;.

Benkeblia, Noureddine. Transportation of Fresh Horticulture Produce 2 (n.d.): 1-24. 2009. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <http://ucanr.edu/datastoreFiles/234-1291.pdf&gt;.

Helping Farmers Get More Sleep with Technology

New technology is generated all the time, but it is slowly increasing in agriculture by the years. A new system that helps farmers be more productive in harvesting is on-the-go cart filling systems. This system uses navigation to guide carts to the location of the combine that is harvesting. Farmers work from sunrise to sunset and most of the time even later into the night in planting and harvesting season. This is one new technology that can help farmers get work done while be able to have more sleep at night.

Efficiency is key when technology is being produced and this navigation cart system can do just that. John Fulton, a precision agriculture specialist at Auburn University states, “I think a 10 to 15% improvement in harvest efficiency through improved off-loading is achievable. It may be even higher for some folks. Improved efficiency on that scale could have a tremendous impact financially.” Having new technology implemented into agriculture can be expensive in the beginning, but the future income that can be made in less time makes the implementation worth it.

The navigation system uses GPS/GNS navigation to locate the combine and cart with each other, and the systems also controls the speed of the cart that will match to the speed of the combine. Sonic and visual sensors are used as well for monitoring (David Hest). For a farmer, driving and watching the loading process at the same time can be challenging, and that is why video systems can help out. Farmers still have to make decisions and control the wheel, but with extra systems, it allows farmers perform other tasks while in the harvesting process.

Income and efficiency are the two main improvements farmers will see with an increase use of technology. Implementing the new systems will be expensive though, but will only benefit in the long run. To keep up with the agriculture world, farmers will need technology for help. New systems will continue to appear in the agriculture world, and farmers need to keep an open mind. Trying new technology won’t hurt even though it can be scary.

Hest, David. “20 Technologies Changing Agriculture.” Photo Gallery:. N.p., 9 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. <http://farmindustrynews.com/precision-farming/20-technologies-changing-agriculture#slide-18-field_images-45641&gt;.

Farming With Precision

Two technologies have impacted agriculture in a big way, and these two technologies are geographic information systems and global positioning systems. Other technologies are used along side of the GIS and GPS, which all the technology added together makes up precision farming. To get an idea of precision farming, I will tell you a story so you can picture the process of precision farming.

Imagine yourself sitting in a combine, and while riding along on your farmland you push a button in the cab that turns on your GPS. This GPS system then pinpoints your precise location within a meter. Then, you proceed to touch another button, and this button displays GIS maps. The maps show many things, such as where the soil eroded in the winter. After that, you upload sensing data that show you where beginning crops are thriving and where they are not. Then, they are uploaded, you press SEND, and the data is uploaded onto an onboard machine that automatically runs the process of regulating fertilizer and pesticides. Once this whole process is completed, you can enjoy the ride and the beauty of nature.

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sag1951

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sag1951

That whole process is the new generation that involves precision farming, and there are many benefits.“Several benefits are achieved from an automated method of capturing, storing and analyzing physical field records. Detailed analyses of the farm production management activities and results can be carried out. Farmers can look at the performance of new varieties by site specific area, measure the effect of different seeding dates or depths and show to their banker the actual yields obtained and the associated risk levels. It is imperative that trends and evaluations are also measured over longer time spans. Cropping strategies to control salinity may take several years to evaluate while herbicide control of an annual weed should only take one season” (Agriculture and Rural Development).These benefits will only grow as technology increases. Many farmers use technology, and the use of technology is only increasing.

The precision farming development is still in process, and is always developing new technology. Precession farming allows farmers to relax more and have help when planting and harvesting seasons are hectic. Who helps out with this technology though? The U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA, and NOAA are three of the agencies contributing to the precision farming movement (David Herring). With the implementation of technology, the main goal is to improve the profits and harvest yields for farmers.

Herring, David. “Precision Farming : Feature Articles.” Precision Farming : Feature Articles. N.p., 29 Jan. 2001. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/PrecisionFarming/&gt;.

“What Is Precision Farming?” What Is Precision Farming? N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sag1951&gt;.

Flex Those Tires

Farm equipment continues to grow larger in size, but how do tires hold up the equipment? To make a solution for this problem, tire makers are reconstructing tire technology so weight can be transferred. “As a result, tires today are up to 7.5 ft. tall, 4 ft. wide and have more flexible sidewalls that can withstand heavier weights than standard radials” (Jodie Wehrspann). The tires can handle much more weight, and the weight can be distributed across a large area. These tires are in high demand, and sales have increased immensely.

Tire companies such as Firestone, Alliance, and more state that the industry’s large-size tire category has increased in sales. The tires appear to be oversized, but the tires large carcass is what allows them to lift the weight of equipment (Jodie Wehrspann). The new technology of tires is large-volume, and is booming across farms everywhere. Tires used to have a rolling circumference of 243 inches and an overall diameter of 81 inches, and now tires have a circumference of 256 inches (Tractor Life). These new tire desires from farmers have increased the competition between tire companies.

http://www.cfitire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/John-Deere-Float-Tractor-Tires-e1404831142115.jpg

http://www.cfitire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/John-Deere-Float-Tractor-Tires-e1404831142115.jpg

As of right now, Bridgestone-Firestone, Goodyear-Titan, and Michelin Ag control the U.S. farm tire market. Their combined market share is 90% (Tractor Life). The companies will continue to compete with each other as demands stay up, and more technology is invented for the agriculture industry. High-flex tires will continue to be in high demand in agriculture as the equipment continues to increase in size. The manufacturers will compete in producing the largest and widest tires to carry the heavy equipment.

“Top 10 Trends in Farm Tires.” TractorLifecom. N.p., 14 June 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://www.tractorlife.com/top-10-trends-in-farm-tires/&gt;.

Wehrspann, Jodie. “Tire Trends.” Farm Industry News. N.p., 1 Mar. 2009. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://farmindustrynews.com/farm-tires/tire-trends&gt;.

The Movement of Electric Power in Farm Equipment

Would you believe that one-day tractors, combines, and other farm equipment will generate electric power to run attachments? I have always thought about all the technology being implemented into the world, but I never actually thought about farm equipment generating electric power. For this technology movement, farm equipment will need to get bigger so there is enough power to operate the features on the equipment. “A few manufacturers already have completed work on electrification. AGCO displayed a concept electric drive package on a RoGator last year at a farm show. The 311-hp vehicle was equipped with a 650v electric generator that sent power to electric wheel motors” (Karen McMahon). Companies are going to compete with each other on who can have the most attachments ran by electric power.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/John_Deere_3350_tractor_cut.JPG

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/John_Deere_3350_tractor_cut.JPG

The company that made a major step in electric-powered farm equipment is John Deere. “The 7030E Series tractors have a built-in power generator that makes both 400-volt, 3-phase power and 230-volt DC power on-the-go (Farm Show). John Deere started the movement of the electric-powered farm equipment, and has set the standards for other countries. Other features the company includes are heating and air conditioning in the cab, lights, seat heater, and an on-board air compressor. Other equipment might have these features, but in John Deere equipment, the features run on independent electric power systems (Farm Show). John Deere is one of the most known companies in the agriculture world, and not only is this a problem for other companies to compete, but now companies have to exceed the new equipment, features, and electric power systems.

Farm equipment will only continue to advance, and the price will increase as the products become fancier with new features. Farmers need to keep an open mind with the equipment, and attempt to implement it into their farms. Electric-powered equipment is the start of a great thing to come, and only allows agriculture to expand even more.

“FARM SHOW – Deere’s Revolutionary Electric Tractor.” FARM SHOW – Deere’s Revolutionary Electric Tractor. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://www.farmshow.com/view_articles.php?a_id=139&gt;.

McMahon, Karen. “20 Technologies Changing Agriculture.” Photo Gallery:. N.p., 9 Mar. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://farmindustrynews.com/precision-farming/20-technologies-changing-agriculture#slide-11-field_images-45641&gt;.