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May 31, 2018

Peggy chats with Amy Tabb, research agriculture engineer, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services Laboratory, about creating automation in the tree fruit industry. Tabb explains that fruit trees produce more flowers than they need to produce a full crop and to have larger fruit, you have to thin. Sometimes this is done with chemicals and other times it is done manually. She says the biggest thing for grower today is to solve labor availability and create systems to sense tree structure. She hopes the field will soon see automated harvest equipment commercialized.