Driverless excavators stage "hip hop dances" in Changsha, China

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The equipment used for the post-harvest treatment and preservation of durable and perishable produce includes cleaners, sorters and graders, fans (for fresh air ventilation and fumigation), dryers, refrigeration, controlled atmosphere equipment, conveyors, and handling, packaging and labeling equipment (see also, Equipment for Post-harvest Preservation and Treatment of Produce).

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High capital costs (relative to labor) retard mechanization and lead to selective emphasis on power-intensive operations. Machinery design adjusts to high capital costs by lack of convenience features, simplicity, and reduced durability. Energy is only one of the costs of using machines. Capital and maintenance costs are often larger.

"Hip hop dances": Driverless excavators show off their incredible skills in Changsha, China.

However, the social impact of the consequential rural depopulation has not been adequately addressed. The second most important advance in technology has been the ready availability of rural electricity to power a multiplicity of items of farm equipment including lighting, heating, ventilation, milking, pumping, drying, milling, conveying and mixing. Furthermore, the automation of both mechanically and electrically powered equipment is now a dominant feature of mechanization developments in the developed regions and will inevitably impact to an increasing extent on the developing regions as labor costs increase. The rapid penetration of telecommunication and information technologies will provide a further layer of sophistication to the mechanization capability and strategies in agriculture.

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Precision seeders place single seeds at predetermined intervals in evenly spaced rows to provide an optimum plant population using pretreated seeds suited to mechanical metering under gravity and with high germination and establishment potential. Plants with lesser germination potential or those requiring an earlier growing date (rice, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, tobacco) may be transplanted typically in biodegradable containers in which the seedling has been established in greenhouses.

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