Harper Adams University mechatronics researcher Jonathan Gill has been awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to look into how automation in agriculture can be embraced.
The Nuffield Farming Scholarships are awarded to around 20 individuals each year providing the opportunity to research topics of interest in farming, food, horticulture or rural sectors. Scholars are able to travel anywhere in the world, visiting one or more countries in order to further knowledge and understanding, with a view to advancing their respective industries.
Mr Gill said: “Research has shown that human operation of agricultural machines is less accurate than automated systems. The future farm will need to address requirements of higher productivity and ability to produce higher yields with less inputs. Unfortunately these issues cannot be solved by just one solution.
“Automation is going to play a key role in the future and I’d like to see how we can embrace this change globally. I’ve always had a passion for energy and the saving of it. Now is the time that I can probably have an impact on these aspects to make things work better for us.”
Mr Gill is part of the Hands Free Hectare team, which this year successfully drilled, tended and harvested a crop without operators in the driving seats of the vehicles or agronomists on the ground.