From autonomous agricultural machines to new plant production systems
Arable farming is losing more and more social acceptance. Problems are (a) increasing soil pressure because of heavy machines, (b) the use of plant protection as well as (c) environmental pollution resulting from nitrogen fertilization. At the same time, new developments in automation can help to reduce the mentioned problems in fully automated production systems. We analyze if autonomous agricultural machines enable more sustainable plant production systems.
Plant production systems basing on autonomous small machinery are competing with already existing arable farming systems and their further development to autonomous heavy machinery. We examine the chance of success of the three different systems.
We compare all three systems in view of their advantages and disadvantages in plant production, agricultural technology and economy. In order to identify the different possibilities we analyze each step of the production system for possible alternatives (that is with small autonomous machines) and for the impact of this step on the evaluation criteria.
The currently used reference system in arable farming is being defined on the base of a typical farm for a chosen location in Germany. To draft scenarios for production systems with autonomous heavy and small machinery we do literature reviews and expert discussions.
For a scenario with autonomous large machines, there are no significant improvements both in terms of economy and agronomy in comparison to today's methods. In a second step, a scenario for wheat production with small autonomous agricultural machines was designed. The power requirement, the weight and the area performance of the machine concepts were derived as important parameters and evaluated economically. It turned out that the operating costs of the small machines can be at the level of today's costs. Future projects should examine which plants should be combined on the field from an agronomic point of view. From a technical and economic point of view, the optimal machine size of individual processes has to be clarified.
Weitere Videos zur Grünen Woche 2017:
10.2014 - 10.2017
Project status: finished
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Results 1 - 5 of 8