Oppy Set to Conduct Two Trials for Innovative Strawberry Technologies
VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA - Oppy has once again proven that innovation is at the forefront of this industry, as the company is preparing to conduct two independent trials to explore the viability of technologies designed to advance strawberry production processes through solving persistent industry problems.
“We’re extremely excited to be working on finding cutting-edge solutions to challenges facing the strawberry industry as a whole,” said Jason Fung, Vice President of Categories, Berries, and Greenhouse. “Oppy’s participation in this research project has the potential to be truly transformative, as most soilborne pathogens are lethal to strawberry crops, so any improvements in reducing this will have a tremendous impact on our business on multiple fronts.”
The grower will be working with the University of California, Santa Cruz, on the first trials, according to a press release, and the USDA-funded project will test a systems-based approach to mitigating pests and diseases, such as Fusarium oxysporum and Macrophomina phaseolina, through the exploration of using alternative treatments during strawberry cultivation.
The following trials will focus on improving operational efficiencies in strawberry production with the use of a high-tech robotic harvester. During the trials, Oppy will determine if the mechanical harvester can help alleviate some difficulties in the industry, such as labor scarcity, and if the robotic harvester is more efficient and cost-effective than other methods.
“Automation in agriculture has been catapulted into the spotlight thanks to the unique challenges posed by the pandemic,” Garland Perkins, Senior Manager of Insights and Innovation, said. “By assessing the first-ever commercially available robotic harvester for strawberries, Oppy has once again taken a leading role in exploring the future of our industry. Engaging with our stakeholders across the supply chain is necessary for the success of these trials, and reflects the collaborative approach that is essential for innovation.”
With state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips, how will growers continue to push for innovation in the fresh produce industry? We at AndNowUKnow promise to report.