2022 SPECIALTY CROP AUTOMATION REPORT
Investments in automation vary significantly based on the size of a farm. According to 2022 figures for investments in
automation by farm size, investments increase significantly as farm size rises (see Figure 33).
LARGER FARMS MAKE THE BIGGEST INVESTMENTS, WHILE EU GROWERS HAVE A PREFERENCE FOR DIRECT PURCHASES
Investments in automation, by farm size 2022 [average]
Preferred method of automation, by region [% share of respondents]
0 - 250 acres
250 - 500 Acres
No Preference Contract / Subscription Direct Purchase
500- 1,000 Acres
1,000 - 2,5000 Acres
2,500 - 5,000 Acres
Source: Grower survey, Western Growers, Roland Berger Figure 33: Investments in automation by farm size [average], preferred method of automation by region [percent share of respondents]
In addition to farm size, investments in automation vary across different pre-harvest, harvest and harvest-assist activities (see Figure 34). Weeding automation technology was the most popular target, with 45 percent of respondents investing in it. At the other end of the scale, just 18 percent invested in autonomous ground vehicles.
The preferred method of automation varies between European and U.S. growers. U.S. growers show an equal preference for subscription and direct purchase (25 percent of respondents each), while 50 percent have no preference. However, European growers show a strong preference for direct purchase, with 75 percent preferring this method.
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