Recently, the labor shortage in the agriculture industry has become a pressing social issue, resulting from a decreasing number of farmers in Japan, as well as the country's aging population. In addition, as the average area of agricultural land managed by one entity is growing larger, further improvements in farming efficiency are required.
To this end, Yanmar supports the improvement of productivity and pursuit of economic efficiency by combining “smart farming,” which uses ICT with robotics technology, and leading technology in cultivation.
One such example is the rice-transplanter for dense seedlings with “YR8D auto specifications,” sold as part of our “Smart Pilot” Series that uses autonomous driving technology. Using the high-precision positioning method RTK-GNSS (*figure) with accuracy within a few centimeters, anyone can plant rice using the “straight mode.” In addition, in “auto mode,” the machine can move in a straight line, and autonomously handle turns, elevate the planting area, and start planting without any manual operation, thus enabling extended rice planting work using automated labor. Work ranges and paths can also be created easily on a tablet, and position can be checked. Because of this technology, people with little rice planting experience can use Yanmar's auto rice-transplanters to plant rice in straight lines with a high-level of efficiency, solving the problem of operator shortage.
In addition to this auto rice-transplanter that enables anyone to perform this type of high-precision work, Yanmar's dense seedling cultivation technology reduces material costs by reducing the number of seed trays. It also reduces supplementary work such as transporting seeds and adding more seedlings. The auto rice-transplanter and Yanmar's dense seedlings have achieved innovative efficiency in rice transplanting work by shortening the refill time and automating repetitive work, enabling a new form of agriculture to take shape across Japan.