Futurist: Broadband, Robots to Transform Ag

Robert Saik, ag futurist and CEO of AGvisorPRO, expects rural broadband to sweep across the world soon.

“Whether it’s Bezos or Musk or Loon, somebody will crack the code and we will have connectivity on the farm to connect everything together, from grain bins to soil moisture probes,” he said.

Saik spoke at the Land Investment Expo in Des Moines. He told the group that “algorithm” will be the new word in every farmer’s vocabulary. Algorithms will be used in GEO mapping, remote sensing, and virtual reality technology.

He also said robots are well-suited for work that is dangerous, dirty, and dull—factors familiar in farming.

Saik said the labor shortage is critical in agriculture, and automation offers solutions.

“We can’t find good operators in remote areas where we live. Robotics will allow us to drop operating costs and reduce compaction.”

Saik defined this as his moonshot challenge: “Increase the profitability and sustainability of farmers globally by creating a brand-new connectivity challenge for agriculture.”

He used the example of hydraulic oil from his childhood on the farm. He would be covered in it when switching pieces on farm equipment. Today’s version of that is “digital hydraulic oil,” he said, because systems do not communicate with one another. “We need systems integrators to make this technology work on the farm.”

If farmers have bugs in their corn, a sick cow, a frozen tractor monitor, or a combine at an auction they cannot attend, they will approach that challenge technologically. Sensor devices and recognition software will tell a farmer where he has a problem and what the problem is without another human having to visit the farm.

Source: Successful Farming