Short description

Achievements in 2022


Access To Commoditized Technology Components

Building a Tech Stack to enable faster technology development with less R&D capital required

• Developed image library strategy with equipment partner, third party integrator, and University partners to build image library with key meta data tags (4 crops in Q1 2023) • Working with grant partners (UC Merced, UC ANR, F3) on integrating tech stack components into grant implementation opportunities • Launched FIRA USA (3-day specialty crop automation conference) with 1,000 attendees to increase conversations between growers and automation innovators • Scaled field trial program and developed case study program to launch in Q1 2023 • Began work with international partners on US market access and dual hemisphere field test program • Developed HarvestWiki strategy (wiki-style grower knowledge base for start ups) to help start ups fundraise more effectively (launches Q1 2023) • Working with international partner governments (New Zealand, Australia) on funding for local start-up trips to California to begin grower discovery conversations • Increased education content in HarvestWiki (launch in Q1 2023), including new farming formats, and Voices of the Valley podcasts on grower economics for key specialty crop types • Provided support for autonomous rule changes at Sacramento hearing to evaluate variances for autonomous equipment • Began dialogue with Arizona Dept of Transportation on strategy for accelerating commercialization and scale for autonomous agtech providers

Access To Growers And Farmland

Getting access to and connecting with farmers is crucial to test technology under real conditions and tailor solutions to growers’ needs

Facilitate Access to Funding

Funding provides start-ups the necessary resources to develop technology, e.g., conduct research and development, expand operations

Data Transparency In Farming Operations

Data transparency is key to ensure start-ups can tackle and solve the right problems for growers Policy updates and regulatory transparency can provide clarity regarding technology development

Increased Transparency Regarding Regulations

Source: WGA, Roland Berge r Figure 55: Enablers to accelerate technology and market development, with Western Growers’ achievement in 2022

Western Growers constantly launches and runs initiatives that help catalyze the progress of automation in the specialty crop industry. An example is the launch of FIRA USA, which was held in Fresno, Calif., in October 2022. The event offered automation demonstrations and exhibitions, important speakers on trends in the industry and, most importantly, the opportunity for start-ups to connect with growers, venture capital firms and other industry stakeholders. Western Growers will

continue to take such initiatives to aid the progression of specialty crop automation.

Access to quality and economics data and transparency on the pain points of growers is crucial to develop the right technologies and solutions, so there is a clear market potential for consultancy services to bridge the gap between growers and start-ups. This is further explained by Josh Ruiz in Figure 56.

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