While many farmers are focusing on immigration reform as the solution to their labor shortages, some robotic engineers are offering a technological answer, agricultural robots.
Farmers have long been on the forefront of technological change. Despite a popular image of the farm sector as primitive and old-fashioned, the success of farmers often depends on their willingness and ability to adapt to new technologies.
While many parts of agricultural production are reliant on automation, many delicate crops need to be harvested by hand for fear of bruising. The production of these labor-intensive crops is becoming more difficult due to labor shortages that have swept much of the country.
Some farmers hope that reforming the work visa program could solve this labor crunch, others have embraced technological solutions. Engineers in California’s Silicon Valley have recently tested an automated harvester that uses advanced sensors and powerful computers to harvest delicate crops.
“There aren’t enough workers to take the available jobs, so the agricultural robots can come and alleviate some of that problem,” said Ron Yokota, a farming operations manager at California based Tanimura & Antle.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer