Seed World

Are Autonomous Tractors the Future of Ag?

In the last few years more autonomous tractors have rolled onto fields around the world. These new tractors are smaller, and while they require supervision currently, the hope is that in the future they’ll be left to roam fields by themselves. Kinks are still being worked out, but are autonomous tractors the future of agriculture?

On the March 16 episode of Seed Speaks we’ll be talking with Roy Maki from Olds College and Raven Industries’ Dominic Walkes. We’ll discuss how autonomous tractors are being used in agriculture and what future opportunities there are for them.

Walkes is the director of strategic initiatives at Raven Industries. In his time at Raven, Walkes has helped develop and execute the company’s expansion into autonomy and automation, including their OMNIPOWER autonomous tractor. He recently worked with CNH Industrial following their acquisition of Raven in November 2021. Walkes has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from South Dakota State University.

Maki is a research project manager leading Olds College’s autonomous agriculture equipment initiative for broad acre crop production as part of the Smart Farm. Maki was raised on a mixed family farm in southeast Saskatchewan and then worked in the agricultural research and testing community. He worked on projects ranging from spray deposition studies to combine harvester testing, air seeder performance, and grain drying. He has a bachelor of science in agricultural engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and a master of science degree from the University of Alberta, specializing in embedded computer systems and controls.

Join us on March 16 at 12 p.m. CDT on Seed World’s Facebook or YouTube pages to watch the discussion.