Kelly Manufacturing

Ohio Ag News Headlines
The Tesla of the Cornfield: Self-Driving Tractors May Be Coming to Ohio Fields Soon
Ohio Ag Connection - 09/22/2023

Farmers across Ohio and neighboring states gathered this week to talk about the latest in agriculture innovations at the annual Farm Science Review in London, a town in Central Ohio. This year, automation was top of mind.

Technological advancements are transforming farmers’ tools – including drones that spray pesticides, robots that can milk cows and tractors that drive themselves. This autonomous machinery could help Ohio farmers amid a farming labor shortage.

Ty Higgins, a spokesperson for the Ohio Farm Bureau, said that’s what makes this technology attractive to many producers across the state.

“You talk to about any farmer and they're begging for people to come and work,” Higgins said. “The pay is good. The hours are long, but they're seasonal. Nobody wants to do those types of jobs anymore.”

While automation in other fields sometimes comes with the threat of job loss, many in the agricultural field see it as an opportunity for growth. Scott Shearer, chair of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Ohio State University, said the rise in ag tech could translate to more specialized jobs in the industry.

“We're going to move away from some of the low-skilled labor jobs in rural America, and hopefully these will be higher paying positions,” said Shearer, who researches ag automation.

Taking the field

Farmers have been talking about self-driving tractors from as far back as 2016. But, Shearer said much has changed since those initial conversations. It used to be small ag start-ups that touted this technology. Now, large corporations like John Deere, CNH Industrial and AGCO have all announced autonomous tractors.

Although it’s a gradual shift, Shearer said it’s one that’s gaining traction.

“When the big companies get involved, you know that the transition is ongoing, it's active and it's here to stay,” Shearer said.


Other Ohio Headlines
Easy Way Cattle Care
Professional Dairy Producers Foundation
Copyright © 2023 - All Rights Reserved.