20 September 2022
The Hands Free Farm harvest for 2022 has been completed - marking another successful year of autonomous farming.
The farm, based on the University estate in Shropshire, is the successor of the multi-award winning Hands Free Hectare, which started in 2016 with the aim to be the first in the world to grow, tend and harvest a crop without operators in the driving seats or agronomists on the ground.
The project has run in partnership between Harper Adams and Precision Decisions, along with the UK division of Australian precision agriculture specialist, Farmscan AG.
This year's harvest saw some of the delays any farm faces at this time of year - such as the changeable British weather and machinery issues - but by September, the crops had once again been brought autonomously in.
As the Hands Free team prepare to host industry partners and invited guests today, follow their harvest - from high summer to early autumn - with this social media round up.
Lots of activity the last few weeks preparing for the impending #HandsFreeHarvest— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 4, 2022
Servicing, tuning and field testing #autonomous machines.@FarmscanAGUK @PrecisionDec @HarperAdamsUni pic.twitter.com/1q12Uyt0Tf
Turns out we are not immune to day one breakdowns....@CLAAS_UK have sorted a main drive belt for next week lucky coming from Germany not India like the combine!— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 5, 2022
Headland half off anyway! #HFF #HFHa pic.twitter.com/5sRnlI9tpC
The @CLAAS_UK #CropTiger is back together and we are off again. Dust coming off the @KWSUKLtd Extase today in 30C+.— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 11, 2022
Great work by the @FarmscanAGUK @PrecisionDec & @HarperAdamsUni team.
Unload on the moves to come... #HFF #harvest22 pic.twitter.com/7Vw9XvyXVL
Once the headlands are cut, we then cut the fields into blocks which are then cut outside to in.— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 11, 2022
Here is the combine making a turn at the end of a block.#HFF #Harvest @HarperAdamsUni @FarmscanAGUK @PrecisionDec pic.twitter.com/WAo911SqqO
Update previous calculation didn't account for our wild flower mix!— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 11, 2022
Mid afternoon montage of the first day of the Fands Free Harvest.#handsfree #Harperadamsuni #Harvest2022 #combine @HarperAdamsUni @agri_epi @PrecisionDec @FarmscanAGUK @CLAAS_UK pic.twitter.com/hrinExR1oI— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 12, 2022
Once the combine makes its turn it pulls up to the tractor and they resynchronise speeds. pic.twitter.com/OZLZiF119j— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 12, 2022
Top Adney completed. 32.86T from 3.4ha = 9.665T/ha. 11.5% and 81.4 Bushel Wt.— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 12, 2022
That's our wheat done, total of 47.84T total from 5ha averaging 9.5T/ha pic.twitter.com/RXsNws8kdi
A look back to last week's harvest action before the rain, great to see the HFF teams and sponsors effort come to fruition.#HFF #HFH #harvest2022 #agritech #driverless #wheat.@FarmscanAGUK @PrecisionDec @OMEXCompanies @KWSUKLtd @agri_epi @iseki_uk @CLAAS_UK @Ifor_Williams pic.twitter.com/zq4axUEb91— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 18, 2022
The team also welcomed David Gregory-Kumar from the BBC - with a piece going out live on the lunchtime news, a further piece on BBC News 24, and an interview on Radio 4's Farming Today which you can listen back to here.
Morning visit from @DrDavidGK @bbcmtd to catch up on developments from @FreeHectare to the Hands Free Farm.— Kit Franklin (@AgEngResearch) August 25, 2022
Catch us on the lunchtime bulletin. @HarperAdamsUni @PrecisionDec @FarmscanAGUK pic.twitter.com/ThshVhP3Zq
After a late finish on Saturday to clear our first 12ha of spring barley, it's nice to be making good progress on the next this morning. #HFF #harvest22 #autonomousdriving #combine pic.twitter.com/fUj4NXPC3Y— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 28, 2022
That's a wrap on #HandsFree cereal harvest 2022.— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) August 30, 2022
5ha = 47T of wheat in 2 fields in 2 days.
First 12ha of spring barley in 8 rain interrupted days.
12.5ha more spring barley in second field in 3 warm sunny days.
Yields confirmed tomorrow once all in the store. pic.twitter.com/ZUPWZZ8qgx
Little late but the yield results for our spring barley are as follows:— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) September 12, 2022
Middle Moor 41.44T from 9.92ha = 4.18T/ha
Near Moor 49.36T from 12.61ha = 3.91T/ha
Average of 4.03T/ha
Some lost yield with patches of crop having gone flat. https://t.co/s9kZW7Gami
Winter Beans are disappearing as we head towards fishing #HFF #harvest22 in Poor's Land our trickiest field with obstacles and EM interference. @HarperAdamsUni @FarmscanAGUK @PrecisionDec @agri_epi pic.twitter.com/VR8Mfm16br— HandsFreeHectare & Farm (@FreeHectare) September 15, 2022