Robots are taking over farms faster than anyone saw coming.
The first fully autonomous farm equipment is becoming commercially available, which means machines will be able to completely take over a multitude of tasks. Tractors will drive with no farmer in the cab, and specialized equipment will be able to spray, plant, plow and weed cropland.
Saskatchewan’s Dot Technology Corp. has already sold some so-called power platforms for fully mechanized spring planting. In Australia, SwarmFarm Robotics is leasing weed-killing robots that can also do tasks such as mow and spread.
The companies say their machines are smaller and smarter than the gigantic machinery they aim to replace. Industry leaders Deere & Co. and CNH Industrial NV haven’t said when they’ll release similar offerings.