>> Case Study
WEEDING SOLUTIONS FOR FRESH VEGETABLES
HARVEST ASSIST SOLUTIONS IN TABLE GRAPES
JV Smith Companies, a large grower/shipper specialized in fresh produce with farms across
Illume Agriculture, a large table grape grower from California, has been using Burro’s autonomous harvest-assist platforms for two years and is realizing significant savings for crews working with Burro. Illume’s own cost analysis showed that a harvest crew working with Burro platforms was able to harvest grapes at around $1.5 to $2 less per box compared to a crew working without Burro platforms (one box contains approximately 19-20 lbs of product). The savings were realized through 20-30% output gains for the Burro harvest crew. The company plans to expand its use of Burro platforms and is eager to automate other activities in the table grape-growing process, such as de-leafing, tipping and harvesting.
Arizona, Colorado, California and Mexico, has been using multiple weeding solutions for different crops. For the weeding of high-density crops, such as spinach and baby carrots, the company invested in precision laser technologies from Carbon Robotics. For lower density crops, such as lettuce, it purchased a Stout AgTech unit, which treats weeds using a blade system. While the Stout implement is currently able to perform weeding tasks at a higher speed for low-density crops, it is not compatible for the weeding of high-density crops. Due to the lack of all-density weeding solutions, growers are investing in multiple systems simultaneously, and utilizing them in the crops that provide them with the best ROI. Another California-based global produce leader, specializing in leafy greens and carrots, is using the same set-up on its farms and is realizing similar returns.
$1.5-$2 Savings per Box of Table Grapes
+20-30% Output Gains
ROI of Below 1 to 2 Years
Figure 38: Case studies of leading specialty crop growers adopting automation solutions
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