Robot Strawberry Picker Re-visited

tags: robots, agriculture

An article with more about the robot strawberry picker, but this article claims it will fix a labor shortage, and why this shortage exists.

For some three years now, farmers have been forced to abandon millions of dollars worth of strawberries in fields, mostly in Hillsborough and Manatee counties, because they lacked laborers, industry experts say. The problem has been just as dire in California, Arizona and other farm communities.

The reasons for the shrinking worker pool are numerous. Migrant workers who have picked the fields for years are aging. Young adults in migrant families already in the United States are getting better educations and have more options these days, including the construction industry, which again is on the upswing. Stricter security is allowing fewer undocumented workers to cross the border from Mexico. And Mexicans are having much smaller families now – just over two children per family, compared with 7.3 per family in 1960, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report released in 2012.

So, call this the best case scenario – a job that no one likes and that they increasingly don’t need is getting automated.

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