Australia could see fully
automated vegetable farms by 2025, according to top robotics researchers, with
the ability to automate the entire production process for some crop commodities
emerging through targeted research and development in the industry.

The latest edition of the InfoVeg Radio R&D podcast, developed specifically
for Australian vegetable producers, features the developer of the Ladybird
automated vegetable farm robot, Professor Salah Sukkarieh from the Australian
Centre for Field Robotics, University of Sydney, who provides his insights into
the vegetable farm of the future.

“With the work being done on robotics and mechanisation across a wide range of
on-farm applications, from seeding to spraying to harvesting, the leading minds
in the industry believe there will be fully automated solutions for certain
crops by 2025,” said AUSVEG Deputy CEO Mr Andrew White.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000
Australian vegetable and potato growers, and publishes the InfoVeg Radio
podcast to communicate R&D results to growers.

“There’s potential to have a fleet of robots and automated vehicles working in
conjunction with each other – so, for example, cutting-edge growers could use
drones for low-resolution, rapid information gathering across a wide area and
combine that information with results from stationary sensors on the ground, as
well as data gathered by ground robots,” said Mr White.

“As more and more automated information-gathering options come into play,
growers will also need new systems or technology to bring the information
together in a useable format and automate, to some degree, the whole
decision-making process as well as the tasks themselves.”

The podcast also interviewed Mr John McPhee, Farming Systems Researcher at the
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, and Ms Sue Heisswolf, Senior Horticulturist
at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland.

“Australia has been an innovator in the robotics space for industries like
mining, and with targeted research and development applying our field robotics
expertise to the agriculture industry, we’re now world-leaders in farm
mechanisation,” said Mr White.

“Levy-funded research and development, as well as projects funded from other
sources, are identifying priority crops for mechanisation, the benefits it can
have for the industry, and areas where there is the most potential for
innovation in this area.”

“The interviews in this edition of InfoVeg Radio provide great insights into
how all these factors are going to play into the future of vegetable growing,
and we recommend that all growers listen in.”

The podcast is available to stream online or download via the AUSVEG website ( or via iTunes.
Growers with tractors equipped with a USB input in the cab stereo, such as
those in the John Deere range, can listen to the program while out in the

This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using
the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government. 

White, AUSVEG Deputy CEO
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0409 989 575, Email: