top of page

Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Smart Orchard


As we headed into 2021 growing season, we've been commissioned to expand to a second Smart Orchard site at Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Grandview location. Continue reading below to learn more about the project, the partners involved, the types of sensors used, and other resources.

About the Project

For 2021-22 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. 

Smart Orchard Field Days

In 2022, we did things a little different. Instead of having one large field day, the Smart Orchard partners split the days up and had a designated Spanish days for the first occasion. The first day (July 26/27th) was lead out by WSU researchers Bernardita Sallato, Lav Khot, and Lee Kalcsits, focusing on nutrition, and heat stress management.


The second day (August 2nd) was revolved around "New Technologies" where lead out, followed by discussions from Dynamax, Thingy,IOT, Aker Ag, Ceres Imaging, Arable, CropVue, AEA. Not only were the companies that participated in the Smart Orchard Project there but we invited guest companies to participate in the field day, giving participants the opportunity to learn more and see what other emerging technologies are available to the ag community. Guest companies included: Tree To Scope, AgriNET, Soil Tech Wireless, Wilbur Ellis, Chamberlin Ag, FieldIn, Hectre, Nutrien Ag Solutions, PickTrace, Meter Group, & LIVE DEMOS from Guss Automation and Smart Apply, Inc.


For more information on the Field Days check out the blogs below

Check out Yield & Soil Mapping

Click the buttons below to view the PDF files:

Sensor Providers

Screen Shot 2021-02-01 at 9.23.01 PM.png


  • ATMOS 41 micro climate weather

  • ATMOS 14 in-canopy weather

  • TERROS 21 soil water potential

  • PHYTOS 31 leaf wetness

  • Florapulse- Microtensiometer

  • Meter Group- ECH20 EC-5

  • Edaphic Scientific Dendrometers

  • WSU Drone Imagery

Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 10.58.43 AM.png

Thingy, IOT

  • Kona Enterprise Gateway- LoRaWAN Connectivity

  • MeteoHelix IoT Pro- Micro Weather Station

  • MeteoWind IoT Pro

  • MeteoRain IoT Compact

  • Tektelic Agriculture Sensor

  • Sensoterra 6 in. Soil Sensor


Aker Ag

  • Drone Imagery with Aker TrueCause™

Screen Shot 2021-07-23 at 11.44.13 AM.png


  • SGEX-19 – 19 mm & 25mm Sap Flow Sensors

  • SapIP-IRT – Infrared Temperature Sensors

  • DEX100 – Dendrometers 

  • SM150T – Soil Moisture Sensors 

  • MICRO2 – Weather Station



  • Arable Mark 2



  • Irrigation Management using Aerial Imagery

Researcher Collaboration

Dr. Ines Hanrahan

WTFRC Executive Director


Dr. Hanrahan serves as Executive Director of the WTFRC effective August 2018. She was previously employed as a Project Manager by the Commission since 2005.

Ines holds a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering from Humboldt University Berlin, Germany in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Washington State University.

Her professional background in practical and academic horticulture encompasses research, teaching, and consulting for the past 20+ years. Dr. Hanrahan’s expertise includes the management of scientific projects such as: apple postharvest physiological disorder prevention, optimization of cropping and storage systems for pome fruit, management of plant material evaluation from breeding programs for commercial suitability, and applied food safety research. Overall, her primary focus is on expediting transfer of research results to implementation, while providing an ongoing link between scientists and the industry. In addition, she is passionate about training and mentoring the next generation of industry professionals

Dr. Lav Khot

Associate Professor Ag Engineering


Dr. Khot works in the Agricultural Automation Engineering research area of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. His research and extension program focuses on “Sensing and automation technologies for site specific and precision management of production agriculture.” 

Special emphasis is towards integration of:

• Remote Sensing (Unmanned and Manned Aerial Systems)

• Ground-based (Proximal) Crop Sensing

• Decision Support Systems and Information Delivery Technologies

• Precise Applications of various Production inputs

• Agricultural Machinery and processes

• Data-based modeling

Dr. Troy Peters

Professor Biological Systems Engineering

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 3.48.34 PM.png

Dr. Troy works at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, WA. Troy's primary focus is on agriculture irrigation while conducting research in Land, Air, Water Resources, and Environmental Engineering (LAWREE). This all includes deficit irrigation, irrigation water hydraulics, irrigation scheduling and management, irrigation automation, sprinkler irrigation efficiency, low energy precision application (LEPA), low elevation spray application (LESA), and crop water estimation.

Dr. Dave Brown 

WSU Associate Professor of Soil Science

Screen Shot 2020-03-03 at 9.44.38 AM.png

Dave Browns research group is focused on measuring, modeling and explaining the spatial variability of soil properties and processes at hillslope to regional scales.  In pursuing this research, they make extensive use of digital terrain modeling, optical remote sensing, spatial statistics, and proximal soil sensing techniques (e.g. VisNIR spectroscopy).

His instructional responsibilities include: (1) an undergraduate course on world agricultural systems (SoilS/CropS 360) taught every fall; (2) a graduate-level Environmental Spatial Statistics course (SOILS/STAT 508) taught every spring.

Bernardita Sallato

Tree Fruit Extension Specialist WSU IAREC


Bernardita’s program provides leadership in applied research, extension, and outreach for the PNW tree fruit industry. Her goal is improving orchard efficiency and fruit production through horticultural management practices and technology.
Main areas of interest are 1) Soils and plant nutrition; 2) Tree fruit stress management; and 3) General horticultural practices for tree fruit production.



M.Sci. Physiology and Fruit Production Area – PUC, Chile (2006)
B.Sci. Agriculture Engineer – Horticulture – PUC, Chile (2004)

Current Projects

His general interests lie in precision agriculture, proximal soil and crop sensing, soil biogeochemistry, and spatial statistics. Specific projects include:

  • Site-Specific Climate-Friendly Farming (Project Director for a large, multi-institution, collaborative project funded by USDA-NIFA, 2011-2016)

  • Soil dimensions of field phenomics (pilot project with WSU wheat breeders)

  • Precision orchard management (working to obtain support)

Dr. Matthew Whiting

Scientist/Professor/ Extension Specialist

  • Whole-tree physiology

  • High efficiency orchard architecture

  • Incorporating automation/mechanization in fruit production systems,

  • Environmental control of fruit quality;

  • Pollination biology


  • Ph.D., Whole-tree physiology, Washington State University

  • M.Sc., Postharvest physiology, University of Guelph

  • B.Sc., Horticultural Science and Business, University of Guelph

Dr. Lee Kalcsits

Assistant Professor, Tree Fruit Physiology

Grandview Field Day-20210730-2F6A4947.jpg
  • Tree fruit physiology

  • Abiotic stress

  • Plant nutrition

  • Impacts of preharvest environment on postharvest physiology

Program Objectives

  • Develop new tools for identifying the nutritional status of fruit trees

  • Advance the understanding of how environment (light, temperature, water, nutrients) affects fruit tree physiology, growth and development

  • Create management strategies to mitigate physiological problems that are associated with abiotic stress in fruit treesAdd text to your email.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Tree Physiology, University of British Columbia

  • M.S., Tree Ecophysiology, University of Saskatchewan

  • B.S., Horticulture, University of Saskatchewan

bottom of page