Self-steering Volvo truck set to increase Brazil’s sugar-cane harvest

Volvo Trucks has developed a new self-steering truck that it says could become a significant productivity booster for Brazilian sugar-cane growers.

The truck, which is used to transport newly harvested sugar-cane, is steered with “great precision” through the fields in order to avoid damaging the young plants that will form the following year’s crop.

At present, about 4 per cent of the crop is lost as young plants are run over and the soil is compacted by moving vehicles. This can translate into tens of thousands of US dollars in lost revenue per truck per season.  Continue reading Self-steering Volvo truck set to increase Brazil’s sugar-cane harvest

Raspberry Pi could help farmers manage crops better and more cheaply than current systems, say scientists

Rasperry Pi computers are being used to manage crops on farms
Scientists are using Raspberry Pi computers to manage large-scale farms

Raspberry Pi may be strongly associated with hobbyists, but now it’s been recruited as a farm hand. 

Inventors of the credit-card sized computers have shipped more than 5 million units at less than $50 each since launch in 2012. Most of them have found their way into toy cars and other devices.

But now a team of researchers has integrated Raspberry Pi into what’s called an “automated field phenomics” system, or what could be thought of as a sophisticated scarecrow. And the team claims their system will cost a fraction of the phenotyping solutions currently on the market.  Continue reading Raspberry Pi could help farmers manage crops better and more cheaply than current systems, say scientists