LAS VEGAS: It has GPS, lasers, computer vision, and uses machine learning and sensors to be more efficient. This is the new high-tech farm equipment from John Deere, which made its first Consumer Electronics Show appearance this week to highlight the importance of tech in farming.
Deere brought its massive agricultural combine and GPS-guided tractor to the Las Vegas technology event, making the point that farming is more than sticking a finger up to gauge the weather.
The machines are guided by enhanced GPS data which, according to the company, is accurate to one inch (2.5 centimetres) – compared with three meters (10 feet) for conventional GPS.
As they work the fields, the machines gather data about soil conditions and monitor how corn and other crops are being harvested to reduce waste and improve efficiency.
“We want consumers to understand how food is grown,” said Deere marketing executive Deanna Kovar.
“Not only is this machine harvesting the grain, it’s harvesting the data, which helps farmers make decisions for next year.”
Kovar said the added electronics add about US$10,000 (RM40,956) to the cost of the combine, which sells for close to half a million dollars, and that most buyers take the option.
“You can get a savings of about one to three bushels per acre, so it pays for itself very quickly,” she said. – AFP