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Farming Today This Week: Robotics in Farming

Charlotte Smith finds out about some of the ways in which robotics is changing farming, including driver-less vehicles, drone crop mapping, automated cabbage pickers and big data.

Charlotte Smith finds out about some of the ways in which robotics is changing farming, including driver-less vehicles, drone crop mapping, automated cabbage pickers and big data. She visits Nick August's arable farm in Oxfordshire to see how he programs a sprayer to turn off or on according to the patch of land that it's on. Nick goes on to demonstrate how he uses a combination of self-driven drone technology in conjunction with satellite imagery to map his crops, but also warns that the economic model behind robotics may be benefiting the technology companies first rather than farmers or food production. They're joined by Dr Nicola Cannon from Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester explains how technology has become a crucial part of the University's courses. She says that labour shortages may drive the race to develop technology but that it's largely health and safety concerns that are preventing its wider roll-out onto the farm.

Producer: Toby Field.

27 minutes

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