Came across this and thought it might be of interest to GZers.
James Dyson has quietly acquired 33,000 acres of very productive farmland and is now working it as only he could!
Here come the robot tractors...!
"It’s productive, though. The latest harvest brought 31,500 tons of wheat, 11,000 tons of spring barley, 9,500 tons of potatoes, 4,300 tons of vining peas (if you’ve bought frozen peas from Waitrose lately, they were probably grown here) and 105,300 tons of ‘energy crops’ grown for biofuels. Some is exported; some goes straight to UK retailers. As has always been the way with Dyson, middlemen are avoided like muggers.
It doesn’t appear as if he’s going to drive unemployment rates down. Aside from the drivers of a few shiny black-and-grey Beeswax Dyson lorries rumbling past with peas in – the first with the number plate B53 WAX, the second with B54 WAX, and so on – and a few members of the senior management team who accompany us, the place is quite eerily quiet. Beeswax Dyson employs 94 people directly and 500 indirectly, but they must have been tidied away for lunch.
Those we do see are generally supervising or controlling robots doing the hard work for them. It becomes clear that of the £75 million cash injection, quite a lot has been spent on farming technology. Self-driving tractors, sprayers and combine harvesters are used as much as possible, often informed by the work of drones.
In one field we meet a drone pilot who flies the remote-controlled helicopters over land all day in order to gather data on which patches are performing best, or requiring the most help. The results are then put into the self-driving tractors and sprayers, which can treat every few square yards differently. The drone cameras will also identify bird nests, such as those of the rare marsh harrier. "