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Automated Ag System Sponsors IFTA Conference

Automated Ag System Sponsors IFTA Conference

ifta

Automated Ag System is a Proud Sponsor of the International Fruit Tree Association’s 58th Annual Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 21-25, 2015.

 

More more information on the conference go to www.ifruitree.org.

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Tree fruit work platform attracts orders

Tree fruit work platform attracts orders

WENATCHEE, Wash. — J.J. Dagorret and his family warmed themselves with large diesel and propane heaters in the cold winter air outside the Wenatchee Convention Center. It was a good spot across the street from the 109th annual Washington State Horticultural Association meeting.

Some passersby stopped and asked the Dagorrets about the orange contraption next to them. Others knew it was one of those new self-propelled platforms for picking apples and pruning trees. Italian models, the Orsi and Zucal, were displayed by other vendors.

At the meeting, several sessions focused on technological advancements in pruning, harvest and packing of tree fruit. The Dagorrets’ Bandit Xpress fared favorably in comments byspeakers for its simplicity, reliability and relatively inexpensive price of $50,000.

Instead of using conveyors and sorting equipment of more expensive and sometimes less reliable machines, the Bandit Xpress relies on people to do most of the work while, like other machines, eliminating ladders.

Through his Moses Lake company, Automated Ag Systems, Dagorret launched the Bandit Xpress in September 2012. He sold four in the first year and now has orders for 19. He believes that will increase to 25 by the end of the month and is ramping up production. It’s the first American-made tree fruit harvest platform in commercial production.

Dagorret hopes for more orders at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., Feb. 11-13, where the Bandit Express won a spot in the Top 10 New Products featured. The Bandit, he said, is suitable for harvesting citrus, peaches, olives and all kinds of tree fruit. He is planning another self-propelled machine to haul bins along for ground pickers.

“Use of simple platforms have been around for quite a while, but until now an endless supply of Hispanic labor kept people from being interested,” Terence Robinson, Cornell University fruit physiologist, told growers in the meeting. Now 90 percent of New York apple growers use platforms for pruning, he said.

Robinson said he’s a fan of simple platforms like the Wafler in New York, Imperador in Brazil and Bandit Xpress. In his cost analysis of seven machines, the Wafler and Bandit rated the best at $2.04 and $3.25 cost per bin harvested, respectively, versus $16.27 and $9.76 for Picker Technologies and the DBR, respectively.

Don Armock, president of Riveridge Produce, Sparta, Mich., said one team using the DBR auto harvester in Michigan averaged 1.5 bins per hour versus 1.1 bins per hour on ladders while a second team doubled its productivity. Apple bruising was reduced 8 percent with the DBR versus picking from ladders, he said.

J.J. and Kelly Dagorret, owners of Automated Ag Systems, and their Bandit Xpress tree fruit work platform at the Wenatchee Convention Center, Dec. 3.

Dan Wheat/Capital Press

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Ergonomic Comparison of Pickers using Ladders and a Harvest Assist Mobile Platform

Ergonomic Comparison of Pickers using Ladders and a Harvest Assist Mobile Platform

Introduction

The long-term goal of the Ergonomic Evaluation of Emerging, Technologies in the Tree Fruit Industry project is to make ergonomic, productivity, and safety evaluations an integral part of evaluating existing and emerging agricultural tools and technologies. Preventing injuries through design as the tree fruit industry moves forward on its Technology Roadmap1 can contribute to the long-term health of the industry’s workers, while increasing productivity. The study results will be translated into a best ergonomic practice guidelines for tree fruit production activities and recommendations for integrating ergonomics, into the design and use of new assistive tools and technologies. This poster presents results from a study comparing ergonomic factors for apple picking from a ladder & a harvest assist mobile platform.
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Machines Offer A Boost with Apple Harvest

Machines Offer A Boost with Apple Harvest

AR-131109921.jpg&MaxW=600The U.S. apple industry considers less technology in harvest automation may be easier and more immediately beneficial.

Sometimes less is more. That may be true in the development of automated harvesters as the U.S. apple industry continues its quest for mechanization to save money and alleviate labor shortages.

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Western Fruit Growers Magazine

Western Fruit Growers Magazine

“That reliability and ease of repair is precisely what J.J. Dagorret had in mind when his company, Automated Ag Systems, Moses Lake, WA commercialized his design this crop season.
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New Farming Technology

New Farming Technology

Researchers from the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems at Washington State University are showing 7 different inventions in Prosser today that they say could really help farmers down the line.
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The Future Is Now For Orchard Technology

The Future Is Now For Orchard Technology

Across the country, manufacturers, growers, and Extension are working together to advance apple harvesting technology.
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Can You Name All 17 Essential Plant Nutrients?

Can You Name All 17 Essential Plant Nutrients?

Ben Potter
Farm Journal Technology Editor

Quick, can you name the 17 plant nutrients essential for healthy, high-yielding plants? The list is at the bottom of this story – name as many as you can before you look.
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You Planted Late. Will You Harvest Late?

You Planted Late. Will You Harvest Late?

Ben Potter
Farm Journal Technology Editor

Considering the historically early planted crop last year, many farmers were anxious this spring’s oft-delayed planting season due to cooler temperatures and abundant rainfall throughout April and May in much of the Midwest. But will that late-planted crop lead to a late harvest? Not necessarily, explains Burrus Hybrids agronomist Matt Montgomery.
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