Due to the difficulties encountered by farmers on recruiting farm labour attention is being turned to the use of agricultural robots. These can be used to collect data, harvest crops, identify weeds and space out pot grown plants.
Robots have become popular in dairy systems – with the possibility that by 2025 half of all dairy cows in North West Europe will be milked by robotic systems.
Feeding has also benefited from the use of robotic systems – machines now mix and dispense food without the need for a tractor and driver.
In North America robots have been used in the large greenhouses to space out plants. Traditionally this was the job of seasonal workers whose productivity reduced as the day wore on and were susceptible to injury due to the heavy nature of the work.
There are also robots for use in vineyards, strawberry producers and mechanical weeders.
These systems are expensive but development is proceeding at a fair pace.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.