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2021 Smart Orchard Launch at Washington Fruit & Produce with Researchers, Tech Providers, and Grower

Join us for an in-person Field Day- July 30th @ 9-12 am in Grandview

Table of Contents:

  • 2020 Smart Orchard Recap

  • 2021 Smart Orchard Kick Off @ Washington Fruit Grandview Ranch

  • About the Growers

  •'s role in this years Smart Orchard Project

  • Researcher Collaboration

Stay tuned for a complementary post dedicated to the sensors implemented at this orchard location.

Sign Up for our Upcoming Smart Orchard Field Day @ WA Fruit!

Join us for an in-person 'Field Day' at our V.2 Smart Orchard location to hear personally from researchers, tech providers, growers, and other partners involved in the project. Get your chance to see the sensors implemented, learn about their functions, and the associated research that's underway.

When: July 30th from 9-12am

Where: 3142 N. County Line, Grandview, WA

Who: Growers of any kind are encouraged to participate, industry workers, tech providers, or anyone simply interested in learning more

Note: if you are not able to make it to the opening discussion feel free to drop in at any time between 9-12am and someone will be there to accomidate to your questions.


2020 Smart Orchard

As many of you might know, in 2020, Washington State's Tree Fruit Research Commission asked to lead a Smart Orchard Project in collaboration with researchers from WSU & OSU at Chiawana Orchards. Our goal was to "sensorize" an orchard from multiple hardware providers, bringing together growers, data, and researchers to create a sustainable, "smart" orchard with insights that impact growers' bottom lines.

Data Sources:

  • Weather

  • Irrigation

  • Soil

  • Chemicals

  • Disease

  • Pests

  • Crop Health

  • Labor

  • Imagery

Our 2020 Goals:

  • Integrating data provided by a ecosystem sensors and data providers

  • Provide consolidated data warehousing to collect & consolidate data, leveraging Microsoft Farmbeats for efficiencies thru API data interchanges

  • Provide regular insights and analyses of integrated data

  • Provide consolidated raw access to data

Our Approach:

  • Learn capabilities of modern orchard decision making with basic AI and Data Analytics

  • Shift grower decision making process to enable management decisions based on unified data, and 'smart management'

  • Help growers better manage their water usage, labor, equipment, and chemical usage

  • Enable growers to better understand weather and climate change to make precise, informed decisions.


2021 Smart Orchard

For 2021 growing season, was commissioned to expand to a second Smart Orchard site at Washington Fruit Grandview Ranch to focus on Honeycrisp apples, a high value and water sensitive variety. April 22nd marked the official kick-off day as WSU researchers, tech providers, and growers joined together to share their plans and tactics for this exciting project.

The overarching goal of the 2021 Smart Orchards Project is to enable grower decisioning by tying disparate data sources from various IoT agtech sensors to precisely allocate and manage a growers resources like irrigation, soil, chemicals, labor, and weather while increasing yields and quality to save money.

To obtain this goal, every collaborator has to communicate with the growers to understand their current decision making processes so that we can properly test the viability of each sensor and how agtech can improve their overall decision making processes. The end goal having a more precise allocation of resources, increased yield and fruit quality while saving money on irrigation, chemicals, labor, etc.'s role is to aggregate data from all of the IoT sensors in order to get a side by side comparison. This will allow us to pin point data accuracy and the viability each sensor for a growers usability and price points. Not only will we be conducting a very similar strategy to the 2020 Smart Orchard, but is also introducing our base crop count imaging capabilities into the project scope - which opens the door to showing cause and effect based on data collected/insights gained. brought both our trucks and ATVs equipped with the Green Atlas Cartographer,

SoilOptix Digital Top Soil Mapping System, and Smart Guided Systems Permanent Crop Analyzer.This was particularly exciting due to the fact that we had the opportunity to openly share and utilize our Mobile Ag Datacenter with researchers, growers, and other tech providers in a rural area. Where cellular service can be non-existent, having the

2021 Ford F-150 3.5L Powerboost™ V6 hybrid

engine that comes with a class exclusive

7.2kW ProPower Onboard becomes extremely

handy to power a mobile datacenter out in the field. We will be discussing this capability in greater detail in a future Mobile Ag Datacenter post. Stay tuned!


Grower Collaboration

Washington Fruit & Produce Co. has been a family-owned growing, packing, and shipping operation for over 100 years. In 1916, Fred B. Plath saw the unlimited potential of the fertile region of Yakima County and started the Washington Fruit Company. More than 100 years later, the company continues to grow, pack and ship some of the highest quality apples, pears and cherries. Gilbert Plath, one of Washington Fruits' family owners decided to follow in his dad's footsteps as he grew up working in Washington apple orchards for most of his early life. The Smart Orchard Collaboration between, WSU, WTFRC, and various ag tech providers are delighted to have the opportunity to directly work with the growers/owners with historical legacy in the Washington Apple Industry.

USApple 2020 Young Apple Leaders: Gilbert Plath

CLICK HERE or on the image to read more.

Growing Generations: 2018 Good Fruit Growers of the Year

CLICK HERE or on the image to read more.<