About the GrassRobotics project
Due to wet growing conditions and commonly used heavy tractors and baling equipment, the time windows for ley harvesting are shortened during the last decades, resulting in forages of lower forage nutritive quality than necessary. Also, soil compaction and less optimal conditions for plant growth is a consequence in a situation where the dry matter yield in grassland is lower than expected from the plant nutrients supplied.
The main goal of the GrassRobotics project is to develop a sustainable production system for forage production using a lightweight robot with cutting, collecting and transportation tools. This work will be combined with novel seed mixtures that are suited for frequent harvests, as well as a wetter and longer growing season.
The project will develop a lightweight robot with harvesting tools and test multispecies seed mixtures for frequent harvesting with the objective to obtain increased feed quality of the forage. We will estimate production response with respect to forage costs and profit by increasing the number of times we harvest each season. Stationary compactors will be the receiver of material loads from the harvesters, keeping all heavy equipment off the fields. Further, we will study the environmental effects of introducing lightweight equipment and several harvests on soil compaction, root development and nutrient uptake.