Educational sessions that targeted innovation in production and automation were part of Monday’s itinerary as part of the International Fruit Tree Association Conference, which is being held in Boston, MA. Speakers focused on the use of sensors, mechanical blossom thinners, harvest assist systems, automated pest monotoring, and the Autonomous Prime Mover in orchards.
The 56th Annual Conference Intensive Workshop: “Insights Into Innovative Orchard Technology” began Feb. 23 and will end March 1.
In the final session held on Monday, Bruce Hollabaugh of Hollabaugh Bros, Inc., gave a wrap-up of the day’s themes from a producer’s point of view. Hollabaugh said that with every technological advance, researchers must keep in mind the basic “tech level” of the technology’s interface and that each new innovation must be “sufficiently robust for real world application.”
With technology, Hollabaugh recommended growers “work together as an industry to direct research and communicate best possible results.” With research, growers should “engage scientists … to support research and assure it is being continued.” He added that researchers are “doing research for our industry.”
Hollabaugh concluded by saying “we are a global industry now. … We must not ignore the white elephant in the room. Technology is the elephant … don’t ignore him. Accept and embrace him.”
For more on the conference, check the April issue American/Western Fruit Grower or vist: https://ifruittree.site-ym.com/?page=AnnualConference2013.