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'It’s an exciting time': Sask. firm hopes its autonomous farm equipment is the way of the future

Saskatoon -

Grain farmer Clinton Monchuk is no stranger to ever-changing technology when it comes to agriculture. But for Monchuk, the creation of a Saskatchewan tech firm poses some intriguing possibilities

OMNI Power was created by Raven Industries in Saskatchewan. Built to run on its own, OMNI Power can be programmed to complete different tasks like spraying the land or seed planting. No driver is necessary because a farmer can control everything from the comfort of their home on a tablet.

“It actually takes the tractor out of it so it’s the whole system together so it’s re-imagining how farming could look like in the future and possibly not even having to use a tractor and self-contained system to do your planting so that’s very interesting,” Monchuk said, who not yet a user himself.

“Being able to improve productivity and get a lot more done and make sure that every crop is maximizing its potential that’s where a lot of the technology comes in,” said Ben Voss, Director of Sales at Raven Industries.

But Monchuk does have reservations when it comes to running large equipment from a tablet sitting at his kitchen counter.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen if they drive through someplace that’s too muddy and then you are trying to pull it out where myself I would probably go around it right so I think science still has some things they need to figure out,” said Monchuk

Voss believes Monchuk’s concern is a common one. He said the technology is about providing farmers with as many options as possible. He suggests being in the field while the machine is running so it can be supervised.

“There is going to be people that are excited to run a very advanced driverless machine and people going 'You know what I want just pieces of it and can you sell me this piece or that piece and then it’ll make my other equipment more efficient.' We call it the path to autonomy. Some people may start at some of the entry-level things and then adopt more and more over time,” said Voss. Top Stories

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