Yanir Ariav driving tractor.

Ag Robotics Conference Comes to the US for the First Time; Includes demonstrations in Fresno

Growing up near Tel Aviv, Israel, Fresno’s sophomore mechanical engineering student Yanir Ariav was introduced to farming as a teenager by working at a nearby olive grove and horticultural nursery.

Both operations were relatively small, meaning limited large farm equipment and reliance on physical labor – a practice many Central Valley farmers subscribe to.

Mechanical engineering student Yanir Ariav showcases agricultural robotics technology to Campus Vineyard Director Leah Groves and student Ashley Cardova.

Ariaf’s added background in computer programming led him to return to agriculture with a career that began in 2018 Blue White Robotics. Since then, he has worked in management positions at the international headquarters of the agricultural robotics company in Tel Aviv, as well as in Brazil and now Fresno.

Over the past two years at the company’s US headquarters, he’s helped dozens of Central Valley farmers modify their tractors and other machinery to work independently. This technology collects additional tracking data for technology such as sprinklers to reduce costs while increasing equipment efficiency.

“Agriculture is not an easy profession because your costs and profit margins are always changing,” Ariav said. “Advances in computer-assisted technology can help farms overcome labor shortages to approach capacity, especially in key parts of the year (such as harvesting) when timing is critical. As the industry moves forward, the ideal autonomous farm of the future can operate 24 hours a day and technology is being used to tackle problems more flexibly and sustainably.”

Farmers can reap extended benefits and save money in other ways. Fewer manually operated tractors means lower labor and gas costs, reduced carbon footprint and related tax expenses, and improved air quality. The company’s technology and network of sensors can also track the maintenance needs of the tractor. Sensor data from spray applications can be combined with harvest data collected by GPS to aid future planning for increased yields.

A sneak peek into the future of agricultural technology like this one from around the world will be shown From Tuesday to Thursday, October 18 to 20 In the FIRA USA 2022 Conferencewhich will be hosted for the first time in the United States in Fresno.

The Fresno Convention and Event Center (848 M Street) will host the first two days targeting farmers, technology manufacturers, and professionals from the academic, investment and entrepreneurial fields.

The opening day will see presentations of R&D by technologists, scientists and academics. The second day of the event will include a business exhibition, panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking opportunities.

Conference attendees can then see equipment from 14 tech sponsors such as Blue White Robotics from From 8:45 AM to 2:45 PM on October 20 In the demonstrations in university agricultural laboratory in Fresno. This part of the conference is coordinated by the campus irrigation technology center It will include planting, cultivating, harvesting, spraying, mowing and other tasks in campus vineyards and row crop fields.

A similar conference was organized by him Go awaya French association of agricultural trade robots, held annually in Toulouse, France since 2016 for growers of vegetables and specialty crops.

International organizers began planning for this event in Spring 2021 with California University of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesAnd the Western farmers and the Fresno-Merced Future of Food (F3) Consortium for Innovation.

Walt Dufloc, Vice President of Innovation for the event’s co-sponsor, Western Growers, is driving the pace of innovation in the sector through the Global Harvest Automation initiative, which will be presented at the event.

One of the initiative’s goals is to automate 50% of the harvest of specialty crops in the next 10 years.

“We wanted to bring the FIRA event here because the U.S. market for crop-focused startups specializing in agritech is very strong in the San Joaquin Valley,” Dufloc said. “FIRA USA can connect the entire niche crop community – educators, marketing people, startups, growers big and small – and put the focus of the entire event on automating specialty crops for three days.”

The focus of the conference is equally aligned with Arief’s academic and professional orientation.

“The Central Valley is one of the leading agricultural regions in the world because it has such a range of commodities and farmers,” Aryaf said. “I am fortunate to be a part of (Blue White Robotics) a university, industry and community all committed to innovation. This relationship has led me to a deeper love for agriculture, to better serve industry and the needs of my clients. Expanding my engineering background with classes like Agricultural Engineering and Irrigation can help me apply our technology better to feed the world’s growing population more sustainably.”

To find out more about this upcoming event, visit www.fira-agtech.com/event/fira-usa.

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