Biosystems Engineering Faculty and Extension Specialist, Dr. Pedro Andrade Sanchez, who works from the Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC) was recently featured in two separate media releases regarding agricultural technology. The first story is regarding the testing of automated tractor technology. However, as the video and story explain, the technology they is not for a driverless tractor. It is for a tractor that can "Do the work of one thouasand farmers." These tractors have moved beyond the basic function of an old school tractor and are now automating complex crop-monitoring features using sensors. This can allow a farmer to get data on thousands of crops at a time, so they can make the best decision on where to plant, and what crops are lacking fertilizer or water. The story and video can be seen here: https://www.azfamily.com/news/features/university-of-arizona-testing-out-cutting-edge-farming-technology/article_ff689880-c3a7-11e9-94e7-67c9d3541026.html.
The second story is on automation in the state of Arizona as a whole. At the 19:00 minute mark in the video, the conversation shifts to automation in agriculture and Dr. Andrade Sanchez gives his expertise on the subject. While automation in agriculture has been a hot topic for years, the automation technology continues to move at a gradual pace. Technology can be very helpful in solving an existing problem, but sometimes other problems arise because of it. To see this article and video, please visit: https://news.azpm.org/p/news-articles/2019/8/9/156360-automation-in-arizona/.