I'm thinking you may be a bit older than I
Between GM crops and seed banks, farmers (at least up here) don't do a
Nope just a couple of years ago. Actually I don't know what our clients were up to. Maybe they were making the seeds in the first place??
Its the actual morphological analysis which is computing-intensive.
OK. So hey here's a way round it. Drive over the field recording everything. Then go home and analyse it at your leisure over days/weeks. Hopefully the plants are still where you left them when you go back to kill them.
At 10mins per plant you can do 1000 per week. Hmm that's certainly slow but maybe the processing could be done offsite at some dedicated facility and have it finished in a day.
How much would that processing cost?
Suppose 1 plant takes 10 minutes at 1 GFLOPS
That's 6e11 floating point operations.
Some efficient computer can do 540 MFLOP / J = 2e-9J/FLOP
So electrical energy use for 1 plant = 6e11 * 2e-9 = 1000J = 0.0003 kWh
= 0.003c per plant
* 1 million(???) plants in a field
Multiply by 10 for actual cost of a computer service -> $300 per million plants, and add a bit for the "dumb" robot which might even be an attachment on the farmer's existing GPS guided tractor.