CNH continues to support the acceleration of smart harvesting technologies with a minority investment in the California-based start-up Advanced Farm Technologies, which specializes in the robotic harvesting of apples, strawberries and other fruits. The two businesses will partner to drive industry and ecosystem innovation by collaborating across R&D and commercialization.
Shifting to robotic picking has great potential to significantly improve fruit farmers’ productivity by harvesting high value crops up to five times more efficiently. In the United States, 46% of the production cost of apples comes from handpicking labor, 70% in the case of strawberries. These high labor costs are exacerbated by a continued downward trend in handpicking workforce availability.
Advanced Farm Technologies’ system uses computer vision and a machine learning tech stack to pick the best fruit, either during the day or at night, while gently handling it to avoid bruising and damage. Their system’s robotic arms with gentle grippers, a serial-hybrid drive system, autonomous navigation and automated bin handling are among the key features. This automated platform eliminates the need to carry a ladder from tree to tree – vastly reducing the strain of a repetitive and arduous task.
CNH is in a technology growth mode, committed to customer-inspired innovation. This latest investment is part of our broader strategy to bring cutting-edge solutions to our portfolio. We are especially focused on automated, autonomous, and sustainable farming innovations that solve important and complex challenges for our customers.
CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI) is a world-class equipment and services company. Driven by its purpose of Breaking New Ground, which centers on Innovation, Sustainability and Productivity, the Company provides the strategic direction, R&D capabilities, and investments that enable the success of its global and regional Brands. Globally, Case IH and New Holland Agriculture supply 360° agriculture applications from machines to implements and the digital technologies that enhance them; and CASE and New Holland Construction Equipment deliver a full lineup of construction products that make the industry more productive. The Company’s regionally focused Brands include: STEYR , for agricultural tractors; Raven , a leader in digital agriculture, precision technology and the development of autonomous systems; Flexi-Coil specializing in tillage and seeding systems; Miller , manufacturing application equipment; Kongskilde, providing tillage, seeding and hay & forage implements; and Eurocomach, producing a wide range of mini and midi excavators for the construction sector, including electric solutions.
Across a history spanning over two centuries, CNH Industrial has always been a pioneer in its sectors and continues to passionately innovate and drive customer efficiency and success. As a truly global company, CNH Industrial’s 40,000+ employees form part of a diverse and inclusive workplace, focused on empowering customers to grow, and build, a better world.