Typically agritech innovations address the needs of those growing in large scale conventional agriculture. For specialty farmers, who often use unique or alternative growing methods, solutions that reduce labour, boost efficiency and increase production are harder to find. Enter US firm Topcon Agriculture, which has introduced Transplanting Control, a new solution for specialty farmers.
The turnkey solution provides global navigation satellite system (GNSS) based guidance, autosteering and control, benefitting producers of permanent and perennial trees, fruits and vegetable crops.
“Manual measurement is still common practice in areas where specialty and permanent crops are grown,” says Michael Stone, vice president of product development at Topcon Agriculture. “Our precision GNSS-based guidance and control allows for more elaborate planting patterns, and has been proven through countless industries and applications. This now-affordable transplanting technology can help growers increase crop production by up to 15 percent, if not more.”
The solution eliminates manual labour required to physically outline fields and provides streamlined setup through an easy-to-use task planning interface. Farmers can also expect reductions in fuel and other inputs through the reliability of GNSS, resulting in fewer mistakes and corrections.
“Crops placed in an optimised space maximise available resources like soil nutrients, water, sunlight; this also allows more accessible angles for maintenance, like cleaning and weeding, which will further improve output,” Stone says. “More uniform transplanting executed through GNSS generates a healthier crop for increased production and quality. This technology can even improve efficiencies with tasks like soil sampling and post hole digging.”