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  Specialty Crop Automation

Development team members discuss their work with growers. Bringing growers into the development cycle is a central feature of the project.

Citrus grove workers operate tractors, sprayers and mowers, detect crop disease visually and predict yield by sampling. These processes are costly and result in inefficient spraying and disease detection and in inaccurate yield estimates. Outbreaks of HLB, or citrus greening, make improved disease detection more critical and sampling-based yield prediction more inaccurate.  Single-technology development efforts are suboptimal because systemic cost reduction depends on properly integrating different technologies.

The Integrated Automation for Sustainable Specialty Crops Farming project integrates a suite of precise, cost-cutting technologies around the sensing, localization, computing and data collection capabilities of autonomous tractors. Grower participation through extensive field testing and demonstrations where developers and growers discuss project emphasis and potential implementation and commercialization models are cornerstones of our efforts to bring these capabilities to market as fast as possible.

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