As the horticulture industry grapples with continued labor shortages and restrictions, the use of automated equipment throughout growing operations is more popular than ever. Data collected by the American Society for Horticulture Science concludes that, “Greater than 40% of production costs are labor costs, totaling nearly $40 billion per year in the U.S. alone.”
The ASHS study goes on to say this regarding automation in greenhouses and nurseries: “Mechanization of an operation can provide mechanical power, speed, repetition, safety and a greater potential for consistency and quality control.”
Manufacturers, understanding the pain points growers now face, have created a portfolio of automated equipment options all designed to help growers throughout various processes. Examples include:
- Pot and tray fillers
- Planting machines
- Conveyers and collection tables
- And automated handling equipment such as fork systems
But it’s important to remember that not all planting containers are created equal. If you’re not using an automation friendly container with your new state-of-the-art equipment, you may experience inefficient operation. Also, it’s important that you consult your manufacturer’s warranty prior to purchasing containers, as there may be limitations in coverage based on your container selection.
Want to learn more about what makes a container automation friendly? Interested in seeing how growers use automated equipment in their operations? Watch the short video below.