The Futuristic Way One Australian Farm Went ‘Hands-Free’


Charles Sturt University’s press release states that the 1,900-hectare property will have a vineyard and will be used to grow wheat, barley, and canola crops. The farm will also house cattle and sheep. Farming will be done using automated machines like robotic tractors, harvesters, and drones. Artificial intelligence will be used to gather information on best sowing, dressing, and harvesting practices on the land.

The farm will use sensor-based technology to measure the way in which the soil, plants, and animals all interact with each other. The farm will also employ sustainable farming practices and models as well as measures to manage its carbon footprint. The project will equip farmers with “knowledge and technology in crucial fields like data analytics, geospatial mapping, remote sensing, machine learning and cybersecurity,” Charles Sturt University professor Niall Blair added. Business Insider reports that the Australian “hands-free” farm is already operating commercially and trials are being held at night while farmers are sleeping and are away from the property.

Contrary to misconceptions that fully automated farming will largely eliminate farmers from the farming process and will leave them out of jobs, the World Economic Forum found that, while robots and automatics will displace 87 million laborers, it will employ 97 million more, thus creating more jobs than it supplants. Instead of farming in the fields themselves, Business Insider reports that farmers will simply sit behind the desks, managing the automated farming from behind computer screens.


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