Farm land between capitol Ljubljana and town Vrhnika in Slovenia, EU used to be a lake thousands of years ago. It's still more or less low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation. Ditches and canals were built over centuries to drain the land and make it arable. Some areas were drained better than others and for a while farmers extracted peat for burning in furnaces and used it as a fertilizer.
This idea came to mind while author was helping parents first with manual labor and later with farm tractor on small farming plots of peatland or bogland about 5km NE of Vrhnika.
The document presents main points about replacing current farming technologies and practices in such farm field areas. Proposed system uses old railroad tracks, small machines with modern hydraulic technologies controlling existing tractor attachments moving with carrier rolling on the tracks.
- More efficient and convenient use of farming space in wetlands.
- Energy conservation. Machines moving on tracks use significantly less energy than farm tractors on soggy soil. This is especially critical during rain season when farm field is being plowed and tractor wheels start to spin in place and dig into ground to the point another tractor is needed to pull tractor out.
- Applicable to smaller soggy soil areas as well as rice paddies on flat or terraced fields.
- Railroad tracks source: outdated Slovenian railroad system.
- Prevents soil erosion or provides means to move it back after floods.
- Cost of implementation has not been estimated due to different circumstances in different parts of the world. Transport of old railroad tracks to farming fields should be easy with modern technologies.
Farm Automation System description
Fig. 1 shows small section of farm field, about 13m wide between ditches and over 50m long. railroad tracks, RRtrack, would be mounted on vertical supports made of wood or concrete pillars pushed into the ground. Wasted plot section used for tractor track.
Fig. 2 Is a view of existing field with tractor and logical diagram overlay to present the idea.
Attachment carrier between tracks height would depend on crop type. It could be moved to different set of tracks by tractor.
Fig. 3 Logic diagram as aerial view. Left side looks like huge X-Y plotter or CNC machine. The difference between left and right side makes it clear about better plot use with proposed method. Farm tractor brings the tool attachment at one end of the farm field segment or takes collected produce for delivery to storage or processing plant.
The most advanced version would include solar panels for power to equipment on the carriage, camera, computer, and pesticide sprayer to treat only infected plants.
Robotic arms would pick up ripe produce without human intervention. Wireless 5G technologies would allow remote control.
Thanks brother Emil for pictures.
I'm most thankful to my parents Maria and Rafael for lifelong teaching and hard work for all of us.