Farm tech is poised to answer many problems in agriculture.
If you live in Central Florida, you’ve likely seen scores of workers out in the strawberry fields, bent over in the hot sun and picking strawberries. It’s hard work, and there aren’t many who want to do it. Adding to growers’ harvesting woes are the reports that farmers all over the country are having trouble sourcing labor to harvest their crops. The latest in farm tech, the robotic strawberry picker, however, is just about ready to roll into the field and get to picking, according to a Growing Produce article. Read what this latest farm tech gadget is all about.
Farm Tech to the Rescue
This latest piece of farm tech was created by Harvest CROO Robotics, a company based in Plant City, FL. They’ve been working with a grant totaling nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation that was awarded in December. According to the Growing Produce article, the robot is “a modified version of a Colby Harvest Pro Machine” outfitted with a dual GPS system, a common form of farm tech that is already used for precision planting.
The robot will span six rows of strawberries at a time and pick from the middle four. A “proprietary vision system” identifies berries that are ripe for picking. Picked berries then move to a conveyor belt where a secondary system diverts each berry to either consumer packaging, for processing, or to be discarded.
Field testing is currently in the works. “We will possibly open a new investment round early next year, at a higher valuation,” said Gary Wishnatzki in the Growing Produce article, speaking as a Co-Founder of Harvest CROO and Owner of Wish Farms. “The new unit price will reflect the successful deployment of the Alpha Unit, a key milestone.”
The agriculture industry will continue to move towards using automated farm tech such as the berry-picking robot, especially if finding affordable and reliable labor during harvest time continues to be an issue.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.