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

SUMMERTIME SALADS

These salads are a celebration of summer, and are perfect to have on their own or as a side. They are also easy to make and super affordable. Bon appétit!

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
January 1-8, 2021

North West farmers extend helping hand to hungry communities

Prompted by their own hardship during a decade of drought, farmers in the Schweizer-Reneke area have recognised the urgent need to help unemployed and hungry families in the local communities. Lindi Botha spoke to Jozeph du Plessis about the farmers’ project to distribute maize meal to the needy.

4 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
January 1-8, 2021

Backgrounding Beef Animals For Higher Profit

Most South African beef producers sell their weaners straight to feedlots for finishing. Chéri-Lynn Steyn, a master’s student in agricultural economics, explains how backgrounding these animals can increase the income of commercial beef farms and even of the feedlots themselves.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
January 1-8, 2021

Economic Outlook 2021: Now Is The Time To Build Reserves

After a particularly tough year for its economy, South Africa faces many challenges in 2021. Reduced spending power, credit downgrades, and a second wave of COVID-19 could put a damper on agricultural profits this year, and farmers will need to consider their marketing plans carefully. Lindi Botha shares advice from two of the country’s leading economists.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
January 1-8, 2021

Good Summer Rain Forecast For SA

Weather experts have predicted above-average precipitation for South Africa’s summer rainfall areas in 2020/2021. Meteorologist Johan van den Berg explained the weather cycles and La Niña/El Niño phenomena behind the forecast to Jeandré van der Walt.

3 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
January 1-8, 2021

Land Reform 2021: Beware Of Fake News

Land reform in South Africa is mired in policy uncertainty and government neglect. At the same time, it is a political football, kicked around shamelessly by some leaders to serve short-term political goals. Glenneis Kriel spoke to three experts in the field to obtain clarity on this crucially important topic.

9 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
January 1-8, 2021

Managing calf health for maximum long-term productivity

Prevention is better than cure, and this mindset is especially applicable when it comes to preparing calves for their productive adult lives. Dr Schabort Froneman, technical manager for ruminants at Zoetis, provides some pointers on how to raise healthy calves that can become healthy adult animals.

7 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
December 18, 2020

The stories that got us through a tough year

Farmer’s Weekly editor, Denene Erasmus, looks back at some of the top stories of 2020 that not only inspired her, but also served as an example to all South Africans of the remarkable resilience and determination shown by the farming sector during this most unusual year.

9 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
December 18, 2020

SA Harvest: fighting hunger and food waste one meal at a time

Small beginnings can lay the foundation of great success. This holds true for SA Harvest, a food rescue and distribution organisation. Ali Conn, regional manager at SA Harvest, spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about the organisation’s journey over the past year and its future plans.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
December 18, 2020

Diversifying with a new variety pays off for pumpkin producer

The demand for convenient meals and easy-to-prepare vegetables is opening up marketing opportunities for the Hokkaido pumpkin, a newcomer to South Africa. Small, and with an edible peel, the variety holds much promise for expanding cucurbit cultivation. Lindi Botha spoke to Francois Steyn about farming the Hokkaido.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
December 18, 2020
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

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

Can Technology Truly Deliver On The Business Front?

That technology will increasingly become an indispensable part of retail operations and experience is a no-brainer. But what does it really mean for the retail business, especially at a time when a global pandemic has ushered in never before economic challenges and caused further squeeze on margins? Well, contrary to what one might imagine, investing in cutting edge technologies in retail, particularly front-end retail, is not about having futuristic, jazzy and cool stuff inside the stores. On the other hand it’s about being well integrated across all aspects - the store layout and design, VM, lighting, fit-outs, staff performance, inventory, customer interactions and the overall store operations. And all this in a manner that delivers a smooth and seamless shopper experience leading to higher store stickiness and sales. It also means allocating budgets and resources in a way that technology becomes an integral part of all the business processes. Here’s a look.

5 mins read
Visual Merchandising and Retail Design
November 2020