How to Address Farming Labor Shortages with Technology

Posted August 20, 2018 by Administrator in Agribusiness | 0 comments

Farming is a demanding job with often incongruous pay for the hours worked. A major contributor to that problem is an insufficient workforce. With many viewing farming as unskilled labor, it’s hard for farmers to attract and retain reliable laborers. As a result, they have to do more and more with limited resources. As farmers creep ever nearer to critical capacity for working hours, innovators are postulating a workable solution in the form of farming robots.

How Will Robots Help?

Automating tasks is not a new concept. Businesses in every industry are unloading their tedious tasks on machines to streamline their processes and free up the human workforce to focus on tasks that are more important. However, agribusinesses have a harder time translating automation into the field. Now, innovators are addressing this need with robots that can perform physical labor.

Even with pay increases, farmers can’t keep laborers in the field to pick fruits, vegetables, etc. Wages range from $11.50 up to $20 an hour, but this still isn’t enough to attract a stable workforce. As a result, farmers are turning to technology to help bridge the gap between consumer demands and their physical labor limitations. In Florida, a startup company developed a robot that can pick strawberries at the same rates as 30 laborers. It can pick a single plant clean in eight seconds and cover eight acres in one day.

Other Potential Uses for Agriculture Technology

Simple labor is just the beginning of robotics technology in farming. Innovators have big plans to automate harvesting, processing, packaging, and handling grocery logistics. The technology has progressed to the point where a robotic arm has the same dexterity as a human hand. This allows the machine to handle soft foods like tomatoes and grapes without damaging them.

Robotics is poised to disrupt the farming industry; however, the intent is to save farmers time while reducing costs. If your farm is struggling with burgeoning expenses, Cline Wood can help. With years of industry experience, we know the risks involved in managing a farm as well as how to mitigate them. Contact us to learn more about reducing your risk to improve your bottom line.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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