Per Plant Precision with Small Robots
Precision agriculture is all about becoming more accurate down to the sub-acre level with everything we do on a farm. One challenge though, is most of the equipment is designed to cover hundreds or thousands of acres. Enter the Small Robot Company, the UK-based precision-first farm equipment provider that uses - you guessed it - small robots to provide per plant precision. Sam Watson Jones co-founded the company.
Watson Jones… “Precision will get more precise, and then per plant precision will lead to per plant harvesting. And that will lead to multi-cultures, if you like, in the farmer's field.”
This vision of diverse crop mixes in the field, Sam says, will open up new opportunities for farmers.
Watson Jones… “Maybe the same crop, but a genetic diversity in that crop, and it was using the soil in a different way. Or we could have multiple commercial crops in a field at the same time. So we can have a plant that's fixing the nitrogen next to a plant that's using the nitrogen. We could make an assessment as to the likely profitability of a square meter of soil. And if our AI algorithm determines that, actually it's unlikely that you're going to create a profit on that particular patch this time, then put it into an environmental patch, put something that is there just to benefit the environment. Now we didn't do that at the moment because we are constrained by the machinery that we use.”