The Latest Generation Of Seed-Sowing Robots
Farmer's Weekly|November 6, 2020
AGCO/Fendt is developing the next generation of field robots as part of a strategic research project. The new series of Xaver sowing robots differs markedly from the past two iterations, and in more than just appearance. The inner seed units of the machines are also entirely new.

Automation and autonomy are hot topics when it comes to sustainable farming techniques, and some equipment manufacturers are at the forefront of developments. The research and advanced engineering department of agricultural engineering manufacturer AGCO/Fendt, for example, has been working on swarm technology and innovative robotics.

According to an article by the manufacturer, manual work that today requires large numbers of laborers toiling on the land will certainly be automated in the future.

“This will eliminate the burden of monotonous work and pave the way for more sustainably produced foods,” AGCO states.

THE SMALLEST OF SEEDERS

The latest generation of the Fendt Xaver is equipped with a seed unit developed by Precision Planting, an AGCO subsidiary.

“Through Precision Planting, we’ve been able to draw on the AGCO Group’s agronomy expertise and proven technology to produce our seed-sowing robots,” says Dr. Benno Pichlmaier, AGCO’s director of global technology and innovation. “We adapted the modules of the first Xaver generation and combined them with the new seed unit. Proven concepts have been combined with the innovative robotics design, which has led to a new, integrated system.”

The vSet® solution spaces the seed rapidly and with utmost precision. An electrically driven control system deposits individual grains with centimeter-accuracy at a predefined distance in the row. The grains are dropped in the furrow by a flexible firmer.

The new Xaver has three wheels, with the last one driving the robot and acting as a gauge wheel. As it passes over, it compacts the soil gently to the side and above the seed, closing the soil around the grain to ensure moisture supply and initiate germination.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FARMER'S WEEKLYView All

Planning and timing: crucial success factors in cattle production

Lerato Senakhomo, the 2020 Agricultural Research Council's National Emerging Beef Farmer of the Year, runs her Nguni herd in a semi-intensive feeding system. She believes the keys to successful cattle production are proper planning and good time management. Siyanda Sishuba visited her farm in Gauteng.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

Breakthrough ahead for SA honey industry

A group of South African beekeepers travelled to Australia during the first All-Australia Bee Congress and returned with a recommendations for improving South Africa’s local bee industry.

2 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

High-productivity hay and forage equipment

For most South African farmers, hay-making may not necessarily be crucial to their businesses. However, it still contributes to the revenue stream through direct sales or as a feed cost for a livestock unit. Stehan Cloete discusses ways to ensure quality feed and low production costs.

3 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

Tackling climate change and biodiversity loss

Climate change is inextricably linked to the accelerating destruction of nature. This report discusses how natural climate solutions, which include land management programmes that increase carbon dioxide storage and reduce carbon emissions, can help tackle both problems simultaneously.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

NUTS: Growing cashews: Part 3

The final instalment of this series discusses cashew production from flowering to harvesting and oil extraction. The challenging process of shelling is carried out either by hand or mechanically in factories.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

Carmingo apricots breathe new life into Koo Valley

The arrival of Carmingo apricot varieties enables producers to generate up to three times more income per season than with traditional varieties. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Pierre Burger and Sam Sieberhagen, two successful farmers in the Western Cape.

8 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

Succession planning: the time to talk is now

In this first article in a new series on how to run a family farm successfully, Trevor Dickinson, CEO of specialist consultancy Family Legacies, writes that the key to a profitable, long-lasting business is to start a family conversation about succession planning. And this needs to happen sooner rather than later.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

Boom or bust for expanding orchards?

With prices remaining high, the citrus, avocado and macadamia industries have boomed in recent years and producers have continued expanding. This has left many wondering whether the situation is too good to be true and whether the bubble might be due to burst. Lindi Botha spoke to a number of industry experts.

6 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

The essentials of pruning

The pruning of fruit trees is a simple form of tree manipulation, yet many farmers overcomplicate the practice. Horticultural consultant Dr Nigel Cook explains to Glenneis Kriel how to maximise the value of pruning.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021

Adapting technology to tackle stock theft and other farm crimes

Property theft on South Africa's farms ranges from the petty and opportunistic all the way to well-planned, syndicate-led invasions, and profoundly affects incomes, production and the well-being of rural communities. but farmers and security experts are not taking this scourge lying down. Lloyd Phillips reports on how remote digital technology is being adapted to create practical, and highly effective, solutions.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
February 19, 2021
RELATED STORIES

Robots Out Of Work As Automated Businesses Close In Bay Area

It has been a bad week for robots in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1 min read
Techlife News
January 18, 2020

How To Succeed In 2020

We’re not just about to enter a new year. We’re heading into a whole new decade. That means plenty of fresh opportunities, new challenges, and the chance to build businesses that will create a better tomorrow. Thirteen entrepreneurs and experts talked us through the trends to come—and offered advice on how to navigate your way to a successful future.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2019

Could Gallium Nitride Be The Key To Reaching The Full Potential Of AI?

Could Gallium Nitride be the key to reaching the full potential of AI?

3 mins read
The BOSS Magazine
August 2019

The New Workers Of The World

A yearlong project to capture the voices of workers facing unprecedented global change.

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 15, 2019

737 Max The Questions Behind Automated Systems

Negotiating the divide between man and machine.

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
April 12, 2019

Grocery Robots Detect Spills - With Some Far-Off Human Help

A wheeled robot named Marty is rolling into nearly 500 grocery stores to alert employees if it encounters spilled granola, squashed tomatoes or a broken jar of mayonnaise.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
January 18, 2019

The Future Of In-Housing

Media agencies and marketers debate clients taking programmatic in-house.

3 mins read
ADWEEK
November 5, 2018

3 Ways Robotics Is Evolving The Automotive World

Robotics and automation in the automotive industry are no recent deal.

2 mins read
Exhibit
January 2021

Homes For Tomorrow

Lerato Mphahlele speaks to architectural experts on what’s in store for residential architecture in 2021

5 mins read
SA Home Owner
Trends 2021

Digital Transformation & Cyber Security Safe Environment

Digital transformation & cyber security offered a deeper view into ways to safeguard interests and parry cyber attackers

3 mins read
Manufacturing Today
December 2020