2022 SPECIALTY CROP AUTOMATION REPORT
5.3 IMPACT OF AUTOMATION ON COSTS, LABOR SHORTAGES AND HARVEST QUALITY
Automation investments can benefit growers in three main ways: generating cost savings on a per acre basis, increasing the quality of the yield (decreasing shrinkage) and ensuring all crops are picked. With regard to cost savings per acre, weeding solutions provide proven savings and return on investment (ROI) for growers, which explains the considerable traction they have in the market. Indeed, many of the
leading weeding automation companies, such as Carbon Robotics and Stout, offer ROI targets of less than two years, sometimes even less than one year for certain growers. Most growers (53 percent of survey respondents) indicated that their target ROI payback period is longer than two years (see Figure 37). If this level of ROI continues, weeding solutions will continue to gain traction in the market.
MOST GROWERS ARE SATISFIED WITH WAITING OVER 2 YEARS FOR RETURN ON INVESTMENT Target return on investment for automation investments [% share of respondents]
Source: Grower Survey, Western Growers, USDA, UC Davis,Roland Berger Figure 37: Target return on investment for automation investments [share of respondents, based on survey responses]
demonstrated proven cost savings. Figure 38 provides some concrete examples of large-scale specialty crop growers adopting automation solutions and their re- spective returns.
There are numerous examples of growers that have realized cost savings through weeding solutions, and adoption is picking up across growers. In addition to weeding solutions, harvest-assist platforms have also
– 84 –
Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter maker