Modern agriculture is evolving rapidly. Industry is introducing digital and autonomous technologies to improve crop and livestock production by increasing efficiencies and optimising resource consumption, thereby reducing waste and enhancing agri-food sustainability. Automating broad-acre crop production offers real potential while simultaneously presenting technical hurdles that must be overcome before farmers will consider adopting the new technologies.
Raven Industries’ OMNiPOWER™ Platform, a Canadian robotic farm technology whose development CAAIN is supporting, functions as an automated seed applicator, herbicide sprayer, and fertilizer applicator. In 2020, Olds College purchased a unit to support the development of autonomous agricultural equipment and validate its viability in Western Canadian agronomic conditions.
The project partners, led by Olds College, are operating the equipment on an increasing number of acres through the 2020, 2021, and 2022 growing seasons. This will generate robust data and observations substantiated by real-world application.
Finally, in addition to validating and improving the use of the OMNiPOWER technology, this initiative offers a range of stakeholders significant educational and training opportunities related to the operation and maintenance of autonomous agricultural equipment.
Total Project Value
Joy Agnew, PhD
Associate Vice-President, Research