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Lack of skilled labour during harvest drives AI, automation trend

Every year we hear more stories of lost grade, lost bushels and lost income because crop was harvested too late. Meanwhile, combines, grain carts, trucks and handling facilities sit idle because there are not enough qualified operators.

“Newbies running expensive equipment. That’s what’s driving this whole move toward autonomous implements,” says Ryan Georgison, manager of research and development at MacDon Industries.

The expansion of big-acreage farms has created its own problem — the disappearance of knowledgeable neighbours who can be hired during the busy seasons.

Georgison said there’s nothing wrong with hiring a high school kid to run a combine, if that kid has already been running machinery for six years. The problem is that there are no more such neighbours. They disappeared when you bought their land.

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