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C-Dax Pasture Robot

C-Dax Pasture Robot

A robot that measures your pasture covers autonomously and frees up your time to get on with farming sounds too good to be true. But, this is the goal of the partnership between C-Dax and Massey University in New Zealand who are doing just that, developing a C-Dax pasture robot.

The new development provides you with another option in the tool box for enhancing your farm business. The trusty rising plate meter or tow behind the ATV rapid C-Dax pasture meter has no doubt taken your pasture management skills to another level, but an autonomous way to measure your pastures is set to raise the bar again.

The robot removes operator bias, especially with farmers who cut corners because they don’t have time to drive across the whole paddock or from farm staff who lack the motivation to do as good a job as yourself. This leads into the time that will be saved by not having to sit on the ATV for two to three hours a week providing you with more time to focus on other management areas, or freeing up valuable farm labour for other tasks.

If you currently spend three hours a week measuring, this is 156 hours a year. At approx. $30 an hour for labour costs, this equates to $4,680 a year. Over five years, you’re looking at $23,400 in labour and this is before you have factored in capital purchase of equipment, ongoing equipment maintenance and insurance if using a quad bike. Currently, we do not know the retail price of the C-Dax robot, but the calculations above give a quick guide to the price point it needs to meet in order to oust current technology.

Hear about the C-Dax Pasture Robot from Massey University

A couple of concerns will be raised, as is with all new technology such as who will wipe the sensors clean from dust, water, plant material and manure? How long will the battery life persist for? Will it be quick enough to take a whole farm measurement within a matter of hours? Will C-Dax allow for streaming of pasture covers to our very own Pasture.io platform or that of any other cloud based pasture management software? What other uses are there for this machine and does it come with a suite of sensors for determining animal, plant and soil health?

This is definitely a watch this space, but if you’re considering investing in technology that is currently on the market place, then don’t hold back because the dividends from measuring and managing your pasture far outweighs the money spent on a C-Dax pasture meter by at least a factor of 10.

What are your experiences?

We'd love to hear your feedback, or if you have some great tips that we can share in the post above - please feel free to get in touch or leave a comment below.