Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Enabling a Wider Farmers Contingent to Better Realize the Tech Potential at their Disposal

Agtonomy, a leading software and services company specializing in advanced autonomous and AI solutions for agriculture, has officially announced an expansion of its paid pilot program to help growers across the board access and make the most of next-generation, on-farm robotic automation. First introduced back in 2023, the program allows participating growers to have complete access of Agtonomy software enabled tractors. By software-enabled, we are referring to Agtonomy’s TeleFarmer™ solution and tele-guidance service which lets you remotely manage and optimize end-to-end farming tasks, including managing multi-fleet operations. On a more granular level, though, the idea behind leveraging such a mix of AI, robotics, and advanced computing is to effectively automate routine, daily farming tasks like weeding, spraying and mowing, thus enabling sustainable growing practices. This involves more precise use of organic inputs even when performing those tedious, labor-intensive field jobs. Owing to the stated expansion, though, Agtonomy will work alongside two newly-signed partners in E & J Gallo, the world’s largest winery, and Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), one of the world’s largest premium wine companies, as well as several other award-winning wineries, including Silver Oak Cellars and Caymus Vineyards.

“TWE has been trialing robotics across our global operations for a number of years now and we’re excited about the potential for AI to continue to improve safety across our business through automation and progress our farming techniques and sustainability efforts. After experiencing Agtonomy’s farmer-first approach and their ability to deliver in-field, autonomous solutions, we are thrilled to continue collaborating in the development of advanced tools to succeed in today’s evolving farming environment,” said Simon Graves, Director of Vineyard Operations at Treasury Americas, a division of Treasury Wine Estates.

For a more immediate future, Agtonomy is working towards expanding the pilot program to West Coast fruit and nut tree growers. Also, beyond its grower-partner strategy for product development, the company will collaborate with manufacturers to embed their software platform into brand-name tractors and implements. For example, in January 2023 only, it got Doosan Bobcat to unveil the AT450X, an Agtonomy enabled tractor, which appeared on the scene as industry’s first autonomous and electrified articulating tractor. Anyway, to more comprehensively understand the significance of such a development, we can acknowledge how, despite their clear potential in the context of solving various agriculture challenges like cost and climate impact, technologies like autonomy and robotics still remain largely underutilized commodities. This is proven well by a 2022 McKinsey and Company report, which claimed that only 5% of farmers globally, across all agricultural sectors, have adopted autonomous solutions.

“Grower partnership allows us to tap into their knowledge of every tree, row or landscape to focus and strengthen autonomous design for real ROI for the end-user. OEM collaborations are vital to scaling adoption to the industry as a whole because they have the ability to produce not just a few hundred autonomous tractors a year, but tens of thousands, which provides the level of impact this industry desperately needs,” said Tim Bucher, CEO and co-founder at Agtonomy.