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ARS Home » Midwest Area » East Lansing, Michigan » Sugarbeet and Bean Research » Research » Research Project #445514

Research Project: Development of an Automated and Integrated Mobile System (AIMS) for Apple Harvest and In-field Sorting - Montana State University

Location: Sugarbeet and Bean Research

Project Number: 5050-43640-003-013-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2023
End Date: Jul 14, 2027

1) estimate the potential change in apple production profits by adoption of robotic and in-field sorting technologies; 2) conduct surveys in rural Mexico among potential migrants to estimate workers’ wages to work on U.S. farms for various worker tasks and access to robotic technologies.

Research will be conducted to compare expected producer profits for manual versus robotic harvesting assuming a range of bruising rates, harvest worker wages, use of color-pick technology or mass-pick, efficiency of robotic in-field sorter (intended to reduce pack-out costs), orchard structures, and lighting (e.g. dark, cloudy, and sunny conditions). Detailed data will be collected from field trials where the harvester and sorter are used and estimate the costs and benefits of the new technology.