Lean, mean, weed-killing machine among 2023 World Ag Expo winners

GUSS Automation, LLC returns to World Ag Expo for 2023 as a product winner for the company’s Herbicide GUSS, a weed-killing ag machine

TULARE – The International Agri-Center is gearing up for their annual ag expo, and a Kingsburg-based company was announced as one of 10 winners to showcase an in-depth look of their product.

At the 2023 World Ag Expo, GUSS Automation, LLC will exhibit the latest edition of their GUSS automatrons, the Herbicide GUSS. The machinery spares ag workers additional labor time and eliminates exposure to sprayed chemicals by removing the driver from the equation. The driverless sprayer is equipped with nine precision sensors designed to detect, target and spot spray weeds on orchard floors and measure the specific amount of material needed to take care of them, all according to the World Ag Expo website.

“With growers looking to improve productivity, increase precision and efficiency, reduce operational and overhead costs and enhance worker safety, Herbicide GUSS is the solution to meet and exceed these needs,” the website states.

The machinery is the first and only autonomous herbicide sprayer of its kind to hit the market. With the Herbicide GUSS included, the website states that a single employee is capable of operating a combination of eight GUSS and mini GUSS autonomous sprayers from their vehicle. Additionally, the machines can be resupplied by nurse trucks – trucks that transport liquids – as the GUSS machines signal the need for refills.

GUSS Automation, LLC is an ag machinery manufacturer with roots that trace back to 1982, according to the GUSS website. It was kick-started by Dave Crinklaw and his father Bob, who initially started an ag spray business called Crinklaw Farm Services. Through the business, the two earned a quick reputation amongst the San Joaquin Valley. As the organization became more established, Crinklaw – who eventually took full ownership following Bob’s retirement – began to devise solutions to common problems and inefficiencies in ag, according to the GUSS website. With his guidance Crinklaw Farm Services eventually began to develop vineyard machinery to address those issues, which eventually snowballed into the launch of GUSS Automation, LLC in 2019.

In addition to GUSS Automation, LLC’s Herbicide GUSS, several other winners will be exhibiting their products at the 2023 World Ag Expo.

Bluewhite Pathfinder by Blue White Robotics – Fresno, Calif.

The pathfinder transforms any brand of existing tractors for orchards or vineyards into a fully autonomous fleet. According to the International Agri-Center, this fleet is capable of carrying out various tasks, from spraying to applying herbicides, discing to mowing and even harvesting produce with high precision and operation efficiency. 

To accomplish these feats, the Bluewhite Pathfinder uses a unique fusion of multiple sensors for accurate detection and navigation, utilizing cameras, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and a global navigation satellites system (GNSS). With this, the pathfinder enables the safe navigation and spray application without relying on navigational systems like GPS or cellular connections.

BeeHome by Beewise – Oakland, Calif.

The BeeHome™ is a device that automatically detects threats to a honeybee colony in a seamless manner, warning farmers of the presence of parasites or pesticides. The robotic system reduces the chances of a bee colony collapse by as much as 80%, while operational costs are slashed by as much as 90%, according to the International Agri-Center. 

With round-the-clock surveillance and treatment, BeeHome™ requires no human intervention, and the device is compatible with existing beekeeping practices and infrastructure. Additionally, the robotic system responds by addressing the threat in the field in real-time.

Smart Sprayer by Mantis Ag Technology – Gonzales, Calif.

For the World Ag Expo, Mantis Ag Technology is introducing the most advanced and environmentally sustainable alternative to specialty crop sprayers, the Smart Sprayer. According to the International Agri-Center, the Smart Sprayer features advanced visual recognition (VR) technology in order to precisely apply beneficial crop protection products to targeted plants. 

With the VR technology and reliable, field-proven automation, the Smart Sprayer can reduce the chances of excessive or off-target spraying of areas in the field that don’t have any plants. This results in gains for economic, environmental and product performance as well as helps producers better manage crops, compliance requirements and production logistics.

Vulcan by Farmwise – Salinas, Calif.

Vulcan is a category two, three-point tow hitch implement that combines the ultra-precise weed removal capabilities from Titan, Farmwise’s driverless tractor, with the best-in-the-industry reliability, ease of operation, and adaptability to any field conditions. The hitch has also been designed to be easily maintained and repaired. Additionally, Vulcan can operate on over 15 different crop types, with new crop types being added continuously through software updates, all according to the International Agri-Center.

Seed Spider Digital Controller Mobile App by Sutton Agricultural Enterprises Inc. – Salinas, Calif.

New to the Seed Spider system, which is a piece of high density seeder equipment from Sutton Ag, is the Digital Controller Mobile App. According to the International Agri-Center, the app replaces physical controllers on any existing Seed Spider seeders and is the standard for all new Speed Spider equipment.

When it comes to seeding, the app simplifies the calibration process, stores seeding history, calibrates metering units, tracks productivity and area planted, provides real-time fault detection and compares current and past seeding information. Additionally, the online platform allows users to take data gathered from the Digital Controller app. It also allows viewing of areas planted on Google Maps and historical data on seeding, such as time seeding, total seed weight dispensed, distance seeded and seeding speed.

HAYTECH by Quanturi – Palo Alto, Calif.

HAYTECH is a wireless monitoring system that is designed to improve the profitability of hay production, according to the International Agri-Center. As a global and ultra-precise smart solution, HAYTECH monitors the entire hay storage site all around the clock, regardless of the size of haystacks. The system comes in a ready-to-use pack with durable wireless probes, a base station, visualization services and alerts.

S5 Pressure Compensating Heavywall Dripline by Rain Bird – Azusa, Calif.

As a way to save water and energy while reducing chemical consumption, utilize the Rain Bird S5 Pressure Compensating Heavywall Dripline. According to the International Agri-Center, the dripline is the ultimate in smart irrigation and uses Rain Bird’s proven Agricultural GritX™ self-Flushing emitter that features precise and accurate flow rates. This allows growers to specify repeating patterns of variable spacing between emitters to deliver water to plants and not the areas between with Smart Spacing, which is what the “S” in S5 stands for.

Burro with Bitwise Agronomy – Superhuman Crop Scouting On-Board by Burro with Bitwise Agronomy On Board – Philadelphia, Pa.

According to the International Agri-Center, Bitwise Agronomy Crop Scouting helps farmers by evaluating their crop with cutting-edge AI technology, to see better than human eyes. Bitwise works by looking at different phenological stages, as well as measuring and counting fruit volume – by bunches or berries – to give users actionable insights and information for crop yield estimates throughout the growing season. 

With Bitwise on-board, crop scouting is more accurate, more consistent and analyzed at speeds better than the human average. When operating on-board Burro as a “digital implement,” Bitwise Agronomy Crop Scouting operates seamlessly with Burro’s in-field autonomy for automatic, real-time crop scouting.

Flying Autonomous Robots™ by Tevel – United States

Debuting at the 2023 World Ag Expo is Tevel’s robotic fruit harvesting system. The upcoming debut integrates eight Flying Autonomous Robots™ on a platform harvester made by S&S Metal Fabrication. The robots, powered by advanced AI and computer vision algorithms, continuously collect data on every piece of fruit picked, providing real-time harvesting data to the grower, according to the International Agri-Center.

The system is designed to work in different environments of modern 2D rows, whether they be high-density fruit walls or V-trellis, and is adaptable to different tree heights and the widths of rows. So far, Tevel’s robots have already picked apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and pears in the locations of the United States, Europe and Israel.

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