For Immediate Release: April 26, 2023
Contact: Adrian Card 970-491-6968 Adrian.Card@ColoState.EDU
The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) is pleased to announce it will host a half day of automatic weeding demonstrations, June 16, at the Colorado State University Arkansas Valley Research Station, Rocky Ford, Colo.
Participating in the demonstrations will be Colorado’s own Barn Owl Precision Ag from La Junta, as well as internationally-known ag tech companies Carbon Robotics and Stout Ag Tech. Unable to demonstrate its machine but onsite for discussion will be French innovator Naio Technologies.
CFVGA Founding Board member and event organizer Adrian Card last year attended an international ag tech conference, giving him the opportunity to meet companies and forge relationships with those that have the greatest potential to work for Colorado produce growers.
“Not all companies nor all technologies will work for Colorado farms, as our produce farms tend to be smaller and more diverse than the very large produce farms in California and Arizona,” said Card. “CFVFA has engaged in conversations for several years with ag tech companies we believe best suit the Colorado market. Some of these companies are those who will be participating in the June 16 demonstrations.”
Card notes that he thinks that seeing the machines weed for an extended (2-hour) timeframe followed by conversation about the technology and specific machines is an outstanding opportunity for Colorado produce growers. Grant money from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program administered for the Colorado Department of Agriculture will help keep registration fees low and also providing travel funding for growers living more than 100 miles away.
CFVGA President Roger Mix said: “U.S. farmers continue to struggle with finding qualified employees on their farms. Colorado farms are being further stressed by implementation of the Ag Labor Rights and Responsibilities Act passed in 2021, which this year will require farmers to pay overtime to their employees. Automation is essential if we are to continue to raise fruits and vegetables in our very compressed growing season.”
Registration is open to the public and costs just $17.85. Learn more and register at: https://coloradoproduce.org/labor-june-16-demo/
The CFVGA is comprised of more than 250 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $485 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 90,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.