When we think about agriculture, we tend to think about subsistence farming. Although many people may think that the agricultural community is behind the curve when it comes to implementing new technologies, there is lots of evidence that farmers are actually moving quite quickly to modernise almost everything about the farming process.

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SwissCognitiveAccording to Techopedia, these farmers are using artificial intelligence in new and amazing ways to bring the process of food cultivation into the future.

Sowing the seeds

High-tech agriculture starts at the very second that the seed is first placed in the ground. Experts in the field are familiar with variable rate planting equipment that does more than just planting a seed down into the dirt somewhere. All sorts of artificial intelligence work is being done behind the scenes on predictions – where a seed will grow best, what soil conditions are likely to be, etc. The power of artificial intelligence is being applied to agricultural big data in order to make farming much more efficient.

Harvesting technologies

Companies are already producing robotic harvesting equipment, partially in response to labour gaps that have left farmers scrambling to harvest crops like fruits and berries. You can see a lot of this at work in documentation from companies like Harvest Croo, which has produced an autonomous strawberry picking machine, and Abundant Technologies, where a vacuum apparatus harvests mature apples from trees. While manufacturing robots have been around for a while, these harvesting technologies are something new in many ways.Harvest technologies like the Harvest Croo berry picker operate on the basis of machine vision and sensor fusion to identify where harvest fruits and berries are. They use sophisticated directed movements to pick precisely.This is the kind of functionality that is very much in the artificial intelligence field and mimics human cognition and directed action. Agricultural robotics is filling a need as labour pools decrease. But it’s also saving humans from one of the most repetitive and difficult jobs in our economy. People simply don’t want to have to harvest enormous amounts of produce all day, every day. In that sense, harvest robotics is also making our world a little more enjoyable. Now, if people do want to pick by hand, boutique orchards and gardens offer that option! Harvest robotics presents a real landmark in the very rapid modernisation of the farming world.

Eye in the sky

How are farms using artificial intelligence to direct crop planting, harvesting and more, and how are they getting that data in the first place? In some trade journals, you can see unmanned aerial vehicles or drones being outfitted with precision sensors, in order to run the fields and get the data that is needed. These airborne surveillance engines can look for stunted crops, signs of pest or weed damage, dryness and many other variables that are part of the difficulty of farming in general. With all of this data in hand, farmers can enhance their production models and their strategies across the lay of the land to decrease risk, waste and liability. […]