Offering solutions for various problems in food production through smart farming

[Value provided by Yanmar Group]Reducing costs and labor using the “auto rice transplanter” equipped with the technology of autonomous driving and “Yanmar dense seedlings” cultivation

Using real time information from GNSS and the base station, it is possible to perform high-precision work with accuracy within a few centimeters.
Using real time information from GNSS and the base station, it is possible to perform high-precision work with accuracy within a few centimeters.

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.

In auto mode, the machine can autonomously travel in a straight line as well as handle turns on its own

What are dense seedlings?

By sowing between 250 to 300 gram of dry seedling per seed tray, as opposed to the normal amount between 100 to 150g, the number of seed trays is reduced, and the seedlings are sown in high density patterns. This is achieved using Yanmar's unique technology that takes up about one third of the usual area. This technology also allows for the same level of accuracy in the transplanting of rice as in the conventional method. A rice-transplanter with dense seedling specs can also plant standard seedlings.

Further increase in efficiency using the auto rice-transplanter and Yanmar's dense seedlings

International expansion
Changing how the world farms rice with “Mitsunae”

Learning how to raise seedlings in Myanmar
Learning how to raise seedlings in Myanmar

Rice-transplanters with dense seedling functions are currently sold in Asia. They offer the same benefits seen in Japan, reducing the number of seedling boxes using the same method as conventional cultivation.

However, unlike in Japan, rice-transplanters are not widely available due to lack of technology to raise seedlings. Technology itself needs to be improved for dense seedling to become widespread. To that end, some countries are conducting joint tests with local agricultural testing centers and are also engaged in learning how to raise seedlings using dense seedlings.