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4th edition now available to read online

Future Farming’s 4th edition of 2018 is now online. The cover story focuses on robotic tractors made by French manufacturer Naïo, who offer more more opportunities for use than initially thought.

Leo Steenpoorte from Oosterland, the Netherlands has been working with the Naïo Oz440 for six months, and it offers more opportunities for use than initially thought. Practice has already shown that it can be used for grubbing and weeding, but also transporting and planting.

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The device is one metre in length and has an external width of 45cm. Including some necessary steering room it requires about 65cm between rows.
The device is one metre in length and has an external width of 45cm. Including some necessary steering room it requires about 65cm between rows.

The device can carry a load of around 90 kg and pull 300 kg. Steenpoorte has already been using the robot for transporting canes (to support crops) and for planting work. A wheel planter is attached to the back of the machine to make holes in the soil.The key question remains: do the benefits outweigh the investment (guide price of € 30,000 at Reesink Agri)?

State of the soil in South Africa

Arthur Gray interviewed Independent Soil & Crop Consultant, Thomas Strydom. He answers a few questions about the current state of the soil in various regions of South Africa. “You cannot save your way to prosperity, but you can spend yourself broke,” Strydom concludes.

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Independent Soil & Crop Consultant, Thomas Strydom: You cannot save your way to prosperity, but you can spend yourself broke.
Independent Soil & Crop Consultant, Thomas Strydom: You cannot save your way to prosperity, but you can spend yourself broke.

Fuels of the future

Hybrid and methane-powered engines seem to be the most logical successors to the diesel engine. The fully electric drive is on the way too, though that is some time off yet. Diesel’s days in agriculture are numbered. We analyse what the near future holds.

John Deere on the future for tractors

Roberto Javellana – nickname Joby – tells us what he thinks the future for tractors will look like. He is part of a team at John Deere responsible for the development plan for the bigger tractor series. “Most likely, it will be hybrid drivelines,” he says.

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The SESAM trial model presented by John Deere at the SIMA show features an enormous battery pack that allows the tractor to run for an hour at full capacity.
The SESAM trial model presented by John Deere at the SIMA show features an enormous battery pack that allows the tractor to run for an hour at full capacity.

The benefits of precision farming

Precision farming has many benefits, including the ability to record how a crop is planted. Danie Bester explains how this works for him. He farms Rietbult Estates, near Balfour in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.

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Danie Bester in a soybean crop.
Danie Bester in a soybean crop.

Other features in this edition of Future Farming:

  • Data communication trial 5G network
  • GPS kit solves communication gap
  • Interview with CEMA chairman Van der Ley
  • Shape-Shifter DOT works several jobs
  • Robots filling in for labour shortage

You can read it all in the latest edition of Future Farming. Just log in with your current details or download the Proagrica app for Apple and Android devices.

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