HMC Farms® Launches Drone Harvest Pilot; Drew Ketelsen Comments
KINGSBURG, CA - The age of robots is here, and HMC Farms® is getting in on the action. The stonefruit supplier recently teamed up with Tevel Aerobotics Technologies, piloting a new drone harvesting system utilizing Flying Autonomous Robots that can locate and harvest fruit.
“The years of work we’ve put into cultivating high-density orchards are paying off as we implement technology like Flying Autonomous Robot harvesting,” said Drew Ketelsen, Vice President and Farm Manager. “We have successfully harvested peaches, nectarines, and multiple colors of plums using drones this summer. This project is still in an early stage, but the future potential is very exciting.”
Though these robots may be a new venture, HMC has a reputation for pursuing cutting-edge ag technology. Ketelsen himself has a background in civil engineering. He and Jon McClarty, President of HMC Farms and Ketelsen’s brother-in-law, test various forms of ag tech in order to determine the best fit for the company’s farms.
Autonomous harvest options have great potential to fill a crucial need in the agricultural community, according to a press release. In places like California’s Central Valley, this technology may help with harvest during periods of extreme heat, for example.
We applaud HMC Farms on this exciting launch! Stay tuned for more fresh produce news.