The second year of data collection for Western Growers’ Global Harvest Automation Report is underway, and we need growers and start-ups to fill out surveys to help the industry confront the ongoing threat from chronic labor shortages.

Western Growers’ Global Harvest Automation Initiative (GHAI) aims to automate 50 percent of the fresh produce harvest within 10 years through a series of projects involving growers, automation start-ups and key industry players.

Ann Donahue

The Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology hosted Turlock Fruit Company General Manager Neill Callis and HMC Farms Vice President Drew Ketelsen to speak about their experience as growers in the Central Valley.

Almost 30 startups attended the event, where the duo shared insights into their growing region and talked about the importance of automation. In particular, they discussed how their operations were open to innovation but with the ongoing labor crisis, the farms remain limited on time and staff to work on integrating new technology.

Ann Donahue

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