Field Day- May 30th @1:30-3:30pm (PST)
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The "Berry Smart Project" is an innovative initiative that aims to leverage new technologies to enhance the productivity and profitability of blueberry growers. This project is being led by innov8.ag, a technology startup that specializes in developing data science-informed smart solutions for agriculture. One of the key aspects of the "Berry Smart Fields Project" is the use of precision agriculture technologies, such as sensors, autonomous vehicles, and machine learning algorithms, to collect and analyze data on soil moisture, temperature, nutrient levels, yield distribution, weather, chemicals, pollination, labor and other environmental factors. By gathering this information, growers can make informed decisions about irrigation, fertilization, and other practices that can affect crop yield and quality. In addition to precision agriculture, the "Berry Smart Fields Project" also involves the use of robotics and automation technologies to streamline labor-intensive tasks such as harvesting and pruning. For example, Burro and innov8.ag have partnered up to utilize the burro autonomous robot with the Green Atlas Cartographer mounted on top of it, to autonomously map yield throughout the blocks.
To ensure that the "Berry Smart Fields Project" is effective in meeting the needs of growers, the project stakeholders have been working closely with farmers throughout the development process. This year we expanded to a third location, including Sakuma Brothers in Western WA, Blue Mountain Farms in (Applegate Orchards), and Pan-American Blueberry Growers. By engaging with growers directly, innov8.ag has been able to gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the industry and tailor its solutions accordingly.
Overall, the "Berry Smart Project" represents an exciting example of how new technologies can be used to revolutionize traditional agricultural practices and help growers achieve greater efficiency, sustainability, and profitability. As the project continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see even more innovative solutions emerge that can help shape the future of blueberry farming.
About the Growers
Sakuma Brothers Farms in northwest Washington is well known throughout the industry and region as a committed leader in berry production, packing and processing. Sakuma Brothers has been vertically integrated for the past thirty years, ensuring fruit is picked at peak freshness, and packaged quickly to ensure excellent nutrition and flavor.
Ever since 1915, the dedicated Sakuma family and its team, have been working to supply their customers with the very best quality fruit products and services. They have established a standard of high quality berry products; Growing Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries. Learn more about Sakuma Bro's amazing history.
Pan-American Blueberry Growers (Newest Addition)
PanAmerican Berry Growers has been in the growing business for about 70 years and since has become one of the largest producers and distributors of blueberries in the world.
PanAmerican Blueberries has over 5,000 acres of blueberry farms across the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture and has implemented numerous practices to minimize its environmental impact. They use integrated pest management techniques, cover cropping, and have developed their own irrigation systems to conserve water.
The company has also invested heavily in research and development to improve the quality and taste of its blueberries. Panamerican Blueberries has its own breeding program and has developed new varieties that are sweeter, larger, and have a longer shelf life.
In addition to its farming operations, Panamerican Blueberries has its own packing and distribution facilities. This allows them to control the entire supply chain and ensure that their blueberries are of the highest quality. They have developed partnerships with major retailers and distributors to ensure that their blueberries are available year-round.
PanAmerican Blueberries is also committed to giving back to the community. They support local schools and organizations through donations and volunteer work. The company has also established a scholarship program to help students pursuing careers in agriculture.
Overall, PanAmerican Blueberries is a world-class blueberry producer that is committed to sustainable agriculture, quality, and community involvement. We are excited to be working with them in this years BerrySmart Fields!
Blue Mountain Farms (a.k.a. Applegate Orchards)
Applegate Orchards (a.k.a Blue Mountain Farms) made the decision to diversify their crops in the late 1990s after a few challenging years. Through research and experimentation, they became increasingly interested in blueberries and decided to transition to organic farming in 2000.
In 2002, Applegate began planting blueberry bushes and gradually replaced their apple trees with them. They replanted with high-chill Duke, Legacy, Liberty, Aurora and Last Call varieties. Applegate relies on WSU and MSU as well as new varieties being developed by Berry Blue.
Shirley Mason is passionate about incorporating new technology into her farm and is open to innovation. Her commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest farming techniques has led her to participate in BerrySmart and other similar initiatives.