The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture is hosting a series of Ag Tech Talks. In their most recent talk, they field demonstrations from 12 companies from all over the world present on new agriculture technology.
The event was open to the public but mostly local growers were present.
Spectators watched live demonstrations of automated thinner and weeding technology.
These high tech machines use cameras, computers, strobe lights and all sorts of tech to figure out which plants are good to keep and which ones need to be removed from the fields.
13 On Your Side spoke to many of the presenters. One from the Salinas Valley explained how this tech talk is more important than simply checking out new technologies.
“This is all about helping farmers overcome the challenge of the labor shortage so this machine here is an automated lettuce thinner and it automats the process of removing unwanted lettuce plants from the field,” Matt Watson, Director of technical development for Mantis Ag Technology said. “Traditionally that would have been done by a crew of 20 to 30 people with handheld hoes,” he added.
Today, with machines like these, it helps growers redirect their labor workers to other areas of the vegetable growing process like harvesting.