Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to provide agriculture with a range of technology that can perform tasks more efficiently and effectively than humans.
Productivity gains generated from the use of AI have the potential to improve agricultural performance by up 55% (McKinsey Global Institute, 2018).
Australia is currently researching use of AI in robots and applications on farm are expected to grow, with horticulture and cropping sectors likely to be early adopters within the industry (ACIL Allen Consulting, 2018).
Can Artificial intelligence help the horticultural industry?
The 2018 Agrifutures Australia report “Emerging technologies in agriculture: Regulatory &
other challenges” provides an overview of key applications and risks associated with use of AI in agriculture, alongside interesting case studies within the horticulture industry.
According to the report, there is a robotic system known as “lettuceBot” developed by a US firm called Blue River Technology that can identify over 1.5 million lettuce plants per hour (ACIL Allen Consulting, 2018).
LettuceBot can be towed across fields to take photos using “computer-vision algorithms” for targeted herbicide spraying and identification of surplus plants (ACIL Allen Consulting, 2018).
Apple picking robots
A company called Abundant have been testing apple picking robots that use AI in Australia, with claims that the system can match the picking rates generated by a crew of ten people (Simonite, 2017).
How many Australian farmers are using AI?
At KG2, we specialise in providing qualitative and quantitative market research services within Australian agriculture.
We leverage the extensive KG2 farmer database to survey farmers from a range of industries.
If you’re interested in surveying farmers about their use of artificial intelligence or need to conduct market research with Australian agricultural producers, get in touch today.
Read the full Agrifutures Australia report here.
ACIL Allen Consulting. (2018). Emerging technologies in agriculture: Regulatory & other challenges. Agrifutures Australia. Retrieved from www.agrifutures.com.au
McKinsey & Company. Notes from the AI Frontier: Insights from Hundreds of Use Cases. (2018). McKinsey Global Institute. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Global%20Themes/Artificial%20Intelligence/Notes%20from%20the%20AI%20frontier%20Applications%20 and%20value%20of%20deep%20learning/MGI_Notes-from-AI-Frontier_Discussion-paper.ashx
Simonite T. (2017). Apple-Picking Robot Prepares to Compete for Farm Jobs. MIT Technology Review, May 2021, accessed on 7 May 2021 https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604303/apple-picking-robot-preparesto-compete-for-farm-jobs/