November 29, 2022

VofV: Trimble’s Mike Dentinger on Strategies to Reach the Finish Line with Global Harvest Automation

As the data for the next edition of Western Growers’ Global Harvest Automation Report are being crunched, Mike Dentinger, the Director of AG OEM Development at Trimble, joins the podcast to discuss the potential of automated harvest becoming a day-to-day reality soon.

“It’s a really tough equation,” he says. “How many carrot harvesters does California really need that Grimmway isn’t already building themselves?… And what is it going to take to do this if it ends up being a one million or two million dollar machine and you are going to sell 12 of them a year? The math really falls apart very quickly.”

The key to getting to the finish line, he says, is to figure out where the commonalities exist in specialty crop harvest automation and then innovate from that point. For instance, 80 percent of that hypothetical carrot harvester can have common components, and the rest could be swapped out per the needs of the particular commodity. “You don’t have to swallow the elephant in one bite,” Mike says. “You can take it in pieces.”

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