We have featured articles on many different types of robots that will at some point influence the way we farm, but have the simple wins in the arable world have been ignored? Possibly because they don’t benefit the trade, maybe they are simply a bad idea or maybe a bit of both. However, if the pandemic has shown us one thing, working from home is possible for a lot of industries. But the agronomists among us have not had this luxury.
They, like the farmers, still have to get dressed every day and drive somewhere. Apparently, nothing can compare to actually walking a field. Except for the fact I am being told by every robot manufacturer and drone app company out there, that it can. Why are companies so slow to offer you a digital agronomist? A cheaper version of a walked agronomist, who you have to send the pictures and information to and they help you make decisions.
My feeling is that it’s a liability problem.
Someone is responsible for whether the crops in a field grow or not. If an agronomist is walking a field, they can make the decision to turn left or right based on what they are seeing right now. They take on the responsibility. But if they aren’t there, someone else has to feed them the information. Can they really zoom into one of 500 pictures you send them every week and do the same job. I’m not sure they can and even if it was possible, who knows if they have been sent the “right” pictures for analysis.
The question then moves onto, who is at fault when something goes wrong. Do farmers really want the extra risk of something going wrong just to save a few £s per hectare walking fee? Agronomists, keep you wellies at the ready, we still need you on farm!