Using Surveys to Overcome Obstacles to Specialty Crop Industry Adoption ofAutomated Technologies<br />Katie Ellis, Tara Ba...
Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops (CASC)<br />Multidisciplinary project aimed at improving tree fruit productio...
Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops<br />Labor Reduction<br />Crop Assessment<br />Environmental Monitoring<br />...
Assess specific stakeholder concerns early<br />Non-threatening, confidential<br />Help outreach efforts – put in context ...
8 yr lag to early adoption/15 yrs to full adoption <br />Adoption of New Ag Technologies<br />From Alston, Norton, and Par...
Participant’s farm enterprise information<br />Needs/potentials for automation and sensor tech in specialty crops<br />Pot...
Full Socioeconomic Survey & TurningPoint Instant Response Surveys<br />Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention<br />
Paper surveys: 65 (PA), 8 (NY); 75% Owners<br />72% participation in PA<br />TurningPoint survey participants: <br />   25...
East:Acreage and Annual Gross Revenue<br />
Improve precision & efficiency:<br />Fruit thinning*<br />Harvesting*<br />Pruning<br />Spraying<br />Improve environmenta...
Anticipated Benefits of Harvest Assist<br />Increased workforce productivity<br />Improved management of harvest operation...
Perceived obstacles to adoption of harvest assist<br />
Equipment Price Justification<br />Maximum equipment price justified by 30-40% increase in efficiency of harvest employees...
Automated Insect/Disease Monitoring<br />79% agreed that a fire blight vision & detection system would help in removing bl...
Implications<br />Orchards with higher annual revenues have a higher justifiable price point and are more likely to be ear...
Full Socioeconomic Survey<br />Washington State Hort. Assn. NW Hort Expo<br />
Western Survey<br />Paper surveys: 38 Respondents; 63% Owners<br />Greatest need: thinning, spraying, monitoring water/nut...
West:Acreage and Annual Gross Revenue<br />
Anticipated Benefits of Harvest Assist<br />Increased workforce productivity<br />Improved management of harvest operation...
Equipment Price Justification<br />Maximum equipment price justified by 30-40% increase in efficiency of harvest employees...
Automated Insect/Disease Monitoring<br />83% agreed that a fire blight vision & detection system would help in removing bl...
Perceived obstacles to adoption of fully automated harvest<br />Results similar to opinions from the Mid-Atlantic meeting<...
Perceived benefits of visioning technologies* for crop projections<br />Much lower than in the East<br />*Technologies und...
Other Regional Implications<br />Western and Eastern growers indicated differences in irrigation concerns and justifiable ...
Fine tune outreach efforts in each region<br />Videos and fact sheets<br />Effectively address cost concerns (early!) thro...
This work is supported by the US Department of Agriculture under the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, award number 2008...
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Using Surveys to Overcome Obstacles to Specialty Crop Industry Adoption of Automated Technologies

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Using Surveys to Overcome Obstacles to Specialty Crop Industry Adoption of Automated Technologies

  1. 1. Using Surveys to Overcome Obstacles to Specialty Crop Industry Adoption ofAutomated Technologies<br />Katie Ellis, Tara Baugher, Karen Lewis, and Gwen Hoheisel<br />Penn State University<br />Washington State University<br />
  2. 2. Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops (CASC)<br />Multidisciplinary project aimed at improving tree fruit production efficiency <br />Engineering/robotics, horticulture, entomology, plant pathology<br />Variety of new techniques & equipment<br />Collaborators:<br />Universities & Government<br />PSU, CMU, Purdue, WSU, OSU, USDA<br />Industry<br />Growers & Packers (involvement in advisory panel)<br />CASC<br />
  3. 3. Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops<br />Labor Reduction<br />Crop Assessment<br />Environmental Monitoring<br />Sociological Implications<br />Outreach<br />Commercialization<br />
  4. 4. Assess specific stakeholder concerns early<br />Non-threatening, confidential<br />Help outreach efforts – put in context applicable to interests of each group<br />Determine differences in regional attitudes & practices<br />Help decrease technology adoption lag times and speed up rollout<br />See how farm size/revenue affect potential adoption<br />Why Bother with Socioeconomic Data?<br />
  5. 5. 8 yr lag to early adoption/15 yrs to full adoption <br />Adoption of New Ag Technologies<br />From Alston, Norton, and Pardey<br />Science Under Scarcity,1995.<br />
  6. 6. Participant’s farm enterprise information<br />Needs/potentials for automation and sensor tech in specialty crops<br />Potential benefits of harvest assist technology<br />Potential benefits of automated disease detection & pest monitoring<br />Potential benefits of automation for monitoring plant stress<br />Benefits of fully automated harvest<br />Specific orchard planting system information<br />Full Survey Themes<br />
  7. 7. Full Socioeconomic Survey & TurningPoint Instant Response Surveys<br />Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention<br />
  8. 8. Paper surveys: 65 (PA), 8 (NY); 75% Owners<br />72% participation in PA<br />TurningPoint survey participants: <br /> 25 (PA), 36 (NY); Owners (NY: 72%, PA: 43%)<br />Greatest need: harvesting, spraying, monitoring yield, quality, plant/soil/water/nutrient status<br />Moderate needs in thinning, tree training, and pruning<br />Low need for technological advancement in mowing<br />Eastern Surveys<br />
  9. 9. East:Acreage and Annual Gross Revenue<br />
  10. 10. Improve precision & efficiency:<br />Fruit thinning*<br />Harvesting*<br />Pruning<br />Spraying<br />Improve environmental <br />stewardship & sustainability:<br />Spraying*<br />Thinning<br />Monitoring water & nutrient status<br />Least need: tree training, mowing<br />Areas of Greatest Need<br />Highest need scores<br />
  11. 11. Anticipated Benefits of Harvest Assist<br />Increased workforce productivity<br />Improved management of harvest operations<br />Reduced costs<br />Other ideas:<br />Increased labor pool by eliminating heavy lifting<br />Better quality fruit (faster shipment to consumers)<br />Improved employee health<br />
  12. 12. Perceived obstacles to adoption of harvest assist<br />
  13. 13. Equipment Price Justification<br />Maximum equipment price justified by 30-40% increase in efficiency of harvest employees<br />Median: $35,000<br />Maximum equipment price justified by 10-15% increase in fruit packout<br />Median: $25,000<br />Significant correlation between participant’s annual orchard revenue and the maximum price justified for harvest efficiency (ρ = 0.509, df = 50, I = 0.0002)<br />
  14. 14. Automated Insect/Disease Monitoring<br />79% agreed that a fire blight vision & detection system would help in removing blighted shoots and avoiding tree loss<br />Most indicated that they would, at minimum, use the same number of insect traps if reliable imaging systems were available<br />Many would also <br />increase the number of traps, <br />up to 70 additional units per pest<br />
  15. 15. Implications<br />Orchards with higher annual revenues have a higher justifiable price point and are more likely to be early adopters<br />Internal fruit feeder pressure in the East is generally low; however, nearly 100% of respondents that regularly trap are willing to try the same number of automated traps<br />Advanced technologies in tree training & mowing are lowest in priority for those surveyed<br />
  16. 16. Full Socioeconomic Survey<br />Washington State Hort. Assn. NW Hort Expo<br />
  17. 17. Western Survey<br />Paper surveys: 38 Respondents; 63% Owners<br />Greatest need: thinning, spraying, monitoring water/nutrient status<br />Moderate needs in harvesting, monitoring crop status<br />Low need for technological <br />advancement in tree training, <br />pruning, and mowing<br />
  18. 18. West:Acreage and Annual Gross Revenue<br />
  19. 19. Anticipated Benefits of Harvest Assist<br />Increased workforce productivity<br />Improved management of harvest operations<br />Reduced need for steady workforce<br />Compared to Eastern growers, Western growers anticipate fewer benefits in terms of cost but more in terms of labor <br />
  20. 20. Equipment Price Justification<br />Maximum equipment price justified by 30-40% increase in efficiency of harvest employees<br />Median: $35,000<br />Maximum equipment price justified by 10-15% increase in fruit packout<br />Median: $55,000<br />Same in the East<br />Much higher than in the East ($25,000)<br />
  21. 21. Automated Insect/Disease Monitoring<br />83% agreed that a fire blight vision & detection system would help in removing blighted shoots and avoiding tree loss<br />As in the East, most indicated that they would, at minimum, use the same number of insect traps if reliable imaging systems were available<br />Percentage of participants anticipating possible obstacles with imaging/sensor technologies for monitoring insects<br />
  22. 22. Perceived obstacles to adoption of fully automated harvest<br />Results similar to opinions from the Mid-Atlantic meeting<br />
  23. 23. Perceived benefits of visioning technologies* for crop projections<br />Much lower than in the East<br />*Technologies under development for eventual fully automated harvest <br />
  24. 24. Other Regional Implications<br />Western and Eastern growers indicated differences in irrigation concerns and justifiable price points for harvest-assist technology<br />Suggests a benefit in using region-specific outreach topics to emphasize local needs for some topics<br />Western growers with larger pack-and-ship operations associate a greater benefit with packout improvement<br />Smaller Eastern retail-based businesses would relate better to emphasis on reduced labor costs and fruit quality improvement<br />Western growers were also particularly interested in sensor data for crop projections, which may be partly due to recent disparities between projected and actual crops<br />
  25. 25. Fine tune outreach efforts in each region<br />Videos and fact sheets<br />Effectively address cost concerns (early!) through value proposition seminars & software<br />Thorough field-testing of equipment in a variety of grower landscapes<br />Survey participant comments: Orchard slope/aspect, groundhog holes, etc.<br />Emphasis on reliable, user-friendly equipment<br />Early involvement of commercialization partners not a major concern<br />How to Use This Information for CASC<br />
  26. 26. This work is supported by the US Department of Agriculture under the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, award number 2008-51180-04876.<br />We acknowledge the contributions of N. Lehrer, D. Ames, and the Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops project team for input on the survey questions.<br />Acknowledgments<br />Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences research, extension, and resident education programs are funded in part by Pennsylvania counties, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.<br />Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsements by Penn State Cooperative Extension is implied.<br />This publication is available in alternative media on request.<br />The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; Tel 814-865-4700/V, 814-863-1150/TTY.<br />

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