Internet of Things

Drones and driverless tractors C?is the future of farming?

n 7 July 1964 the Daily Express published a satirical cartoon, a send-up of Britain’s farming community as it struggled to adapt from the old, rustic world to the next, technological one. The cartoon was set at the Royal Show in a point in your immediate future. One for whites with the frame featured a rowdy beer tent, available to “drivers and drivers only”. On the other hand was obviously a marquee while using the sign: “Order your Radio-Controlled Tractor”. A motorist leans over to his beer-slugging mate. “Bert, I don’t want to depress you”, he cautions, “but your governor’s just purchased one of these new tractors that do not need a driver.”

The Express cartoon was recently cited by Professor Simon Blackmore, the top of engineering at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, in order to show the progress the farming community has created during 50 years. The ludicrous has now become the commonplace.

Ian Beecher-Jones, a precision farming consultant, recently told Farmers Weekly magazine that about 60% of Britain’s farmland is actually being managed by precision methods, which feature sensor systems, cameras, drones, microphones, virtual field maps, analytics and GPS-guided tractors. These technologies


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