The case for small
Small Robots. Not big tractors.
As much as 90% less fertiliser
Small is efficient
The topline is, it’s a far more efficient, profitable and sustainable farming model - with maximised yields.
Farmers are no longer stuck in a cycle of needing expensive kit, yet again slashing costs.
It also increases yields. Reducing compaction improves soil health and root growth, meaning healthier plants. Also the crop is spaced perfectly. There is greater germination across more of the field from less seed. And less disease and nutrient deficiency.
Robust per-plant data creates a ‘profit map’ that shows which areas of field to use, and which to leave fallow.
Plus we can also use the headlands, or edges of the field. These usually underperform due to greater compaction, as this is where tractors turn around. Now they won’t go to waste.
Light robots increase the working window. Heavy tractors mean you can’t work if the field is too wet. With robots, you can.
Small is precise
We use precision farming technology developed over the last 15 years at the National Centre for Precision Farming.
It’s so accurate and precise that you will know exactly where your plants are. What they need.
In our field trials this year, we are building the world’s most detailed crop data model. With our AI software, farmers can look at the data as it comes in from the field to make decisions. Which bits of land should be set aside. Which should not be planted at all and allowed to lie fallow. Which land would benefit from crop rotation. Or what to plant when, and where, to maximise yield.
Simply put, this means you can apply permaculture techniques at scale.
And we can be precise about where we put the seeds, know quickly whether they have germinated, and replace them if they haven’t. As well as being able to plant much later in the season due to less displacement. So you get more yield.
Small is kind
Switching to robots is a technological leap forward.
Robots are smaller, lighter and more agile than tractors. They don’t need to plough. They just push each seed into the ground when it’s ready.
So the soil - and worms - don’t get squished. So no tilling is needed - which will reduce a massive 95% of emissions.
Lightness reduces compaction, and improves soil health and root growth. This leads to healthier plants. It also improves soil health without chemicals. Again, an enormous reduction: 90% less fertiliser.
One small step for robots, one great leap for the environment. And worms.
Small is green
If you treat the whole field the same, overuse of chemicals is inevitable.
Our robots know where each plant is and exactly what it needs. So they can treat only the plants that need to be treated. Without any ‘collateral damage’ of spraying not crop plants.
Saving chemicals and wildlife.
They can also identify weeds, and kill them individually. Without covering the soil with chemicals.
Also, our robots will be powered electrically. This reduces the carbon footprint. And if you - like many farmers - are investing in solar arrays, you could very easily be totally self sufficient.
Thirdly, you can work within fields of all shapes and sizes that have hedgerows, protecting biodiversity.
Small is for the future.