IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4 Reading passage 2; The rise of the agribots; with best solutions and best explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4 Reading passage 2; The rise of the agribots; with best solutions and best explanations

This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4 Reading Passage 2 which is titledThe rise of the agribots. This is a targeted post for IELTS candidates who have big problems finding out and understanding Reading Answers in the AC module. This post can guide you the best to understand every Reading answer without much trouble. Finding out IELTS Reading answers is a steady process, and this post will assist you in this respect.

Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 2: Questions 14-26

The headline of the passage: The rise of the agribots

Questions 14-18: YES, NO, NOT GIVEN:

In this type of question, candidates are asked to find out whether:

The statement in the question matches with the claim of the writer in the text- YES
The statement in the question contradicts with the claim of the writer in the text- NO
The statement in the question has no clear connection with the account in the text- NOT GIVEN

[TIPS: For this type of question, you can divide each statement into three independent pieces and make your way through with the answer. Also remember, this kind of questions maintain a sequence.]

Question no. 14: Governments should do more to ensure that food is generally affordable.

Keywords for the question: Governments, should do more, ensure, food, generally affordable,

Answer to question no. 15 can be found in lines 10-13 of the first paragraph. And there is NO INFORMATION regarding government’s responsibility in lines 1-10.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question no. 15: Farmers need to reduce the harm they do to the environment.

Keywords for the question: Farmers, need to reduce, harm they do, environment,  

The answer can be found in lines 10-13 of the first paragraph where the writer of the text says, “ . . .. . Yet while farmers must squeeze more out of the land, they must also address the necessity of reducing their impact on the soil, waterways and atmosphere. .. .. .”

Here, they = farmers,

must also address the necessity of reducing = need to reducing,

their impact = the harm,

the soil, waterways and atmosphere = the environment,

So, the answer is: YES

Question no. 16: In the future, farmers are likely to increase their dependency on chemicals.

Keywords for the question: Future, farmers, likely to increase, dependency, chemicals,  

The answer lies in lines 15-21 of the first paragraph, where the writer says, “ . . .. . . On the new model farms of the future, precision will be key. Why dose a whole field with chemicals if you can spray only where they are needed? Each plant could get exactly the right amount of everything, no more or less, an approach that could slash chemical use and improve yields in one move. . . .. . .”

Here, Why dose a whole field with chemicals if you can spray only where they are needed? = farmers need to decrease/reduce their dependency on chemicals,

that could slash chemical use and improve yields in one move = the benefit of reducing dependency on chemicals,

So, these lines contradict the information in the given question.

So, the answer is: NO

Question no. 17: Farms in Europe and the US may find it hard to adapt to precision farming.

Keywords for the question: Farms, Europe, the US, may find, hard to adapt, precision farming,

The final few lines of the first paragraph gives reference to farms in Europe and the US. However, these lines have NO INFORMATION on whether it would be hard to adapt to precision farming or not.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Questions 18-21: Completing sentences with ONE WORD ONLY

In this type of question, candidates are asked to write ONLY ONE WORD to complete sentences on the given topic. For this type of question, first, skim the passage to find the keywords in the paragraph concerned with the answer, and then scan to find the exact word.

[TIPS: Here scanning technique will come in handy. Target the keywords of the questions to find the answers. Remember to focus on Proper nouns, random Capital letters, numbers, special characters of text etc.]

Question no. 18: In the future, agribots will provide __________ to young plants.

Keywords for the question: future, agribots will provide, young plants,

We can see the mention of ‘agribots’ in the beginning of paragraph no. 2. Let’s read there, “ . .. . . . One day, we might see fields with ‘agribots’ (agricultural robots) that can identify individual seedlings and encourage them along with drops of fertiliser.

Here, One day, we might see = in the future, seedlings = saplings, encourage them along with drops of = provide,

So, the answer is: fertiliser/ fertilizer

Question no. 19: Some machines will use chemicals or __________ to get rid of unwanted plants.

Keywords for the question: Some machines, will use, chemicals, or, get rid of, unwanted plants,  

Take a look at lines 4-7 of paragraph no. 2, “ . .. . Other machines would distinguish problem weeds from crops and eliminate them with shots from high-power lasers or a microdot of pesticide. … … .”

Here, Other machines = some machines, distinguish problem weeds from crops and eliminate them = get rid of unwanted plants, pesticide = chemicals,  

So, the answer is: lasers

Question no. 20: It is the production of ____________ which currently uses most machinery on farms.

Keywords for the question: production of, which currently uses, most machinery, on farms,

In lines 9-11 of paragraph no. 2, the writer says, “ . .. . More than a century of mechanization has already turned farming into an industrial-scale activity in much of the world, with farms that grow cereals being the most heavily automated.  . . .. ..”

Here, being the most heavily automated = currently uses most machinery, grow = production,

So, the answer is: cereals

Question no. 21: ___________ between machines such as tractors is making farming more efficient.

Keywords for the question: between, machines, such as tractors, making, farming, more efficient,    

To answer this question, you need to read the second half of paragraph no. 2, as the writer says here, “ ..  .. .. Yet the next wave of autonomous farm machinery is already at work. You probably haven’t even noticed, for these robots are disguised as tractors. Many are self-steering, use GPS to cross a field, and can even ‘talk’ to their implements – a plough or sprayer, for example. And the implements can talk back, telling the tractor that it’s going too fast or needs to move to the left. This kind of communication is also being developed in other farm vehicles. A new system allows a combine harvester, say, to send a call over to a tractor– trailer so the driver can unload the grain as and when necessary. . . .. .”

Here, can even ‘talk’ to their implements = the tractors can communicate with their implements,

the driver can unload the grain as and when necessary = making farming more efficient,

So, the answer is: Communication

NB: As the answer to this particular question is the first word of the given sentence, it MUST start with capital letter.  

Questions 22-26: Classifying statements

[This type of question asks candidates to classify information from the given reading text. Candidates are given some statements from the text, and a list of options, which are listed as A, B, C etc. They must match the correct statements with the correct options.

N.B.: This question doesn’t follow any sequence. So, they should be answered after all other questions in the passage. Or, you can take a look at the names in the passage and mark them with pencil to get the location before you start reading.]

Question no. 22: Simon Blackmore 

Keywords for the question: Simon Blackmore,

In lines 7-12 of paragraph no. 3, the writer says, “. .. .. Simon Blackmore, who researches agricultural technology at Harper Adams University College in England believes that fleets of lightweight autonomous robots have the potential to solve this problem and that replacing brute force with precision is key. .. . .. .”    

Here, replacing brute force with precision is key = need machines of the future to be exact, not more powerful,

So, the answer is: C (We need machines of the future to be exact, not more powerful.)

Question no. 23: Eldert van Henten  

Keywords for the question: Eldert van Henten,

Again, take a close look at lines 16-22 of paragraph no. 3, where the writer mentions, “ . . .. . There is another reason why automation may be the way forward according to Eldert van Henten, a robotics researcher at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. ‘While the population is growing and needs to be fed, a rapidly shrinking number of people are willing to work in agriculture,’ he points out. . .. . . . .” 

Here, a rapidly shrinking number of people are willing to work in agriculture = a shortage of employees in the farming industry,

So, the answer is: F (There is a shortage of employees in the farming industry.)

Question no. 24: Linda Calvin and Philip Martin

Keywords for the question: Linda Calvin and Philip Martin,

The answer to this question can be found in lines 23-40 of paragraph no. 4, “ . . . .. . Other researchers such as Linda Calvin, an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Philip Martin at the University of California, Davis, have studied trends in mechanization to predict how US farms might fare. Calvin and Martin have observed how rising employment costs have led to the adoption of labor-saving farm technology in the past, citing the raisin industry as an example. In 2000, a bumper harvest crashed prices and, with profits squeezed, farmers looked for a solution. With labour one of their biggest costs – 42 percent of production expenses on U.S. farms, on average – they started using a mechanical harvester adapted from a machine used by wine makers. By 2007, almost half of California’s raisins were mechanically harvested and a labour force once numbering 50,000 had shrunk to 30,000.”

Here, how rising employment costs have led to the adoption of labor-saving farm technology in the past = economic factors is the driving force behind machinery development,

So, the answer is: H (Economic factors are often the driving force behind the development of machinery.)

Question no. 25: Lewis Holloway

Keywords for the question: Lewis Holloway,  

Paragraph no. 5 discusses the points made by Lewis Holloway, “. . . . .. Lewis Holloway, who studies agriculture at the University of Hull, UK, says that robotic milking is likely to influence the genetics of dairy herds as farmers opt for ‘robot-friendly’ cows, with udder shape, and even attitudes, suited to automated milking. Similarly, he says, it’s conceivable that agribots could influence what fruit or vegetable varieties get to the shops, since farmers may prefer to grow those with, say, leaf shapes that are easier for their robots to discriminate from weeds. . . . .. . .”

Here, cows = particular animal species, what fruit or vegetable varieties = particular plant species, influence = impact,

So, the answer is: A (The use of automation might impact on the development of particular animal and plant species.)

Question no. 26: Salah Sukkarieh

Keywords for the question: Salah Sukkarieh,  

The answers to these questions can be found in paragraph no. 5, in lines 14-25, “ .. . . . Almost inevitably, these machines will eventually alter the landscape, too. The real tipping point for robot agriculture will come when farms are being designed with agribots in mind, says Salah Sukkarieh, a robotics researcher at the Australian Center for Field Robotics, Sydney. This could mean a return to smaller fields, with crops planted in grids rather than rows and fruit trees pruned into two- dimensional shapes to make harvesting easier. This alien terrain tended by robots is still a while away, he says ‘but it will happen’.. .. … ..”

Here, these machines will eventually alter the landscape, farms are being designed with agribots in mind, a return to smaller fields = the appearance of farmland will change due to automation,

So, the answer is: D (As farming becomes more automated the appearance of farmland will change.)

© All the texts with inverted commas used in this post are taken from Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4

Click here for solutions to Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS AC Test 4 Reading Passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS AC Test 4 Reading Passage 3

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