Platform for simulation of automated crop production

M Hakojärvi, M Hautala, J Ahokas, T Oksanen, T Maksimow, A Aspiala, A Visala
During the last few decades technology used in crop production has developed noticeably. The work of farmers has decreased and continues decreasing by means of technology and automation. The aim of this research project was to find out requirements for methods and automated machines needed in automated crop production. Agricultural machines capable of utilizing variable rate application (VRA) technology enable considering spatial variability in agricultural fields during different field
more » ... ns. Agricultural field robots are the next step in technology, capable of utilizing sensor and actuating technologies, without human driven tractors. However, agricultural field robots are still under research, and commercial products do not exist. The next generation of crop farming, in the vision of authors, is based on automatic crop farming, which incorporates stationary and moving sensors systems, robots, model based decision making, automated operation planning which are adapting to spatial variability according to the measurements as well as to weather conditions. This article presents a top-down approach of automated crop farming using simulation, trying to cover the most important pieces on a fully automatic farm and the environment is modelled. The developed simulation environment is presented as well as preliminary simulation results. The environment simulator is based on a collection of models, including models for crop and weed growth, soil water flow and generators for spatial variation and statistically varying weather.