The farm of the future is staffed by robots, RBC report says

When you step onto a Canadian farm in the year 2030, you likely won’t see stacks of hay or a farmer riding a tractor. Rather, you’ll probably be handed a tablet to help you navigate the property, and the tractor may be driving itself.A recently released RBC report predicts that in a decade’s time, farms will be operated largely by autonomous machines and digital logistics systems. Therefore, they’ll be staffed by high-skilled engineers, scientists, communications professionals and other digitally savvy employees.Story continues below

READ MORE: Southern Alberta agriculture event showcases the latest in farming technologyAaron Breimer, general manager of the Ontario-based agriculture consulting firm Veritas Farm Management, works with farmers across the country to help them maximize their production. While he comes from a traditional farming background, having completed a degree in agronomy at the University of Guelph, half of his team members have backgrounds in data analytics and computer science.“Half of my team does not have what I call a traditional ‘ag’ background, but they are data scientists and computer programmers. They’re experts that can look at the data with a skill set that even I don’t have and be able to dig through that data for farmers,” Breimer said.Who is the farmer of the future, and what does this mean for the labour market?According to RBC, the shortage of workers in the Canadian agriculture sector is expected to grow by 123,000 by the year 2030, and the skills required to own and operate a modern farm are changing every day.“You have an industry that is evolving, and there is a little bit of a revolution happening because of the deeper and deeper integration of IT into agriculture and agri-food equipment,” explained Helen Hambly Odame, an agricultural researcher with the University of Guelph.The report outlines automation and data analytics as “game-changer” technologies in the agriculture space.WATCH: ‘Urban farming supports the fight against climate change’ — Etobicoke backyard farm joins growing trend in GTA