Automation is not Just for Large Farmers
Automation and robotics have grabbed a lot of headlines in agriculture, but is technology like this only attainable for the very large growers. That’s what many believe, but the costs are trending in a direction to make it affordable for even small to medium size commercial farms as well. GUSS Automation COO Gary Thompson said he was surprised at how economical the machines were for even growers who didn’t have large operations.
Thompson… “Early on in our development that's what everyone coming to us told us, that this doesn't make sense for the small guy. This is just for the big guys. However, I had my first customer who came in and bought one sprayer. He changed that mindset for us almost overnight. He said, I'm doing all the spraying right now. And it was all night work. And then when I run out, I drive my sprayer over to the pump and I have to get off my tractor. I have to fill the materials myself. He said, no matter how hard I'm pushing it, that takes me 45 minutes. He said, what I'm going to do, I'm going to have my pickup. I'm going to put the laptop computer in it where I can monitor GUSS, and I'm gonna pull a bubble trailer. While GUSS is spraying. I'm going to drive over to the pump. I'm going to mix my material into that bubble trailer, drive back to the field and I wait for GUSS to stop for its refill. He said, Gary, I'm doubling my acreage.”
GUSS, short for Global Unmanned Spray Systems, makes autonomous sprayers for orchards and vineyards.