“Harvest Fatigue” May Become A Thing of the Past

Watching tractors and grain carts move through the field alongside combines is a common sight during harvest time in the Midwest, but a new project from Kinze Mfg. could make the grain cart operator “optional” once tractors are programmed to run themselves.

The Kinze Autonomy Project uses autonomous agricultural equipment to complete many tasks on the farm with minimal direct human input.

“It’s our goal to help reduce grower fatigue and help them make the most of their harvest,” says Susanne Kinzenbaw Veatch, vice president and chief marketing officer at Kinze, in a company news release.

Kinze has also designed an autonomous planter that doesn’t require an operator in the tractor cab.  A field map, including field boundaries and any predesigned non-field areas like waterways, is loaded into the global positioning system.  Once the farmer takes the tractor to that field, the system generates the most efficient planting method.

“As growers ourselves, we know how crucial it is to be productive during the short planting and harvest windows,” adds Kinzenbaw Veatch.  “With this technology, producers can set the equipment to run all night if necessary.”