Automation has the Potential to 'Fundamentally Change' Agriculture
New agricultural technologies are popping up all of the time, but how many of them have really changed the way farmers operate their businesses? They’ve largely fallen short, says farmer and agtech founder Andrew Bate. But he sees robotics changing that to actually be able to apply all of the data that’s being collected to new farming approaches.
Bate… “There's all these agtech companies coming to you with all these solutions. 'We can revolutionize this so we can do this so we can show you this insight', but then you walk out of your farm office, out into the field and look around and say, 'well, what am I going to do differently to what I did last year?' Kind of the agtech sort of stuff to now has been mapping and that sort of stuff. And this is where I keep getting so excited about ag robotics, because as a farmer, coming from a farmer point of view, to fundamentally do something different in the field in how we grow our crops, that's the key to this.”
Bate founded SWARMFarm Robotics, a robotics company to bring automation to farmers like himself.
Bate… “One of the big things in agriculture is we can't just revolutionize ag with big data and software. That actually you've physically got to be in the paddock to really move the dial on sustainability and profitability in agriculture. And, you know, while everyone's trying to get more data or or imagery or do whatever to show something in the field. What we've been lacking is the ability to go into the field and actually do something fundamentally different to what we were doing last year, the year before, 10 years ago.”
Bate sees robotics, like his company sells, changing this at the farm level.