Over the past several decades, labor has been one of the top three challenges facing agriculture (along with water and food safety). Labor is a key requirement for specialty crop growers who produce the fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts that are increasing in popularity among consumers. Crucial tasks include planting, weeding, thinning, harvesting, and transporting workers and product. The problem has gotten worse over the past few decades because the number of farm workers has decreased by 70 percent across the two key categories: family and hired farm workers.

The result is a significant and growing gap between the labor available for specialty crops and the labor needed by specialty crop growers, which worsens each year. As with many ag-problems, innovation is the solution.

Happy Travelers
“My trusted travel guide. I travel a lot and this was my most reliable source of information.”
Liz Jacobs, Toronto CAN
“I backpacked through Kenya with nothing more than my clothes, a travel guide, and a dream. It changed my life.”
David Stevens, London UK
“A must-have for all those who are in need of a comprehensive guide”
Sarah Naka, Portland USA
“Great recommendations for off the beaten path places to visit.”
Jay Rutter, Brisbane AUS

Hear what others think!



Western Growers © Copyright 2022

If you have any questions about the report or are interested in being a part of next year’s Harvest Automation Survey, please contact Walt Duflock, Vice President of Innovation at Western Growers, at wduflock@wga.com



To tackle this, Western Growers launched the Global Harvest Automation Initiative in February 2021. One of the initiative's main goals was to take a comprehensive look at the entire harvest ecosystem and provide two things to the Western Growers’ membership:

1. a quantitative look at how much harvest innovation is impacting their operations across fresh products for specialty crops, where the most progress is occurring, and why; and

2. an in-depth view of the innovators who are doing the heavy lifting by crop type, so growers would know who to contact based on the crops they grow.

This report addresses both objectives. It provides a single document for the entire agriculture and agtech ecosystem so that everyone understands the status quo at the end of 2021 and which innovators are leading the way in helping to solve the labor problem.