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Ceres Imaging Blog

Aerial imaging & agriculture tech news for farmers

Mechanization will be needed to maintain wine industry acres, says E. & J. Gallo Winery's Striegler

“Everybody in this room knows that labor is a big issue for us,” said Keith Striegler, grower outreach specialist at E. & J. Gallo Winery, addressing a crowd of wine grape industry insiders at a conference in Sacramento. Striegler said Gallo is investigating mechanization in response to that issue, and trying to improve quality in doing so. “The reality is it’s not going to get any bette...

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Efficient vineyard project tests limits of mechanization for grape growers

  It’s a long way from upstate New York, where Concord grapes grow on the banks of Lake Erie, to Fresno, where winegrape vineyards bake in dry heat. Terry Bates, a viticulturist from Cornell University, made that trip to discuss an issue close to the hearts of grape growers everywhere: labor scarcity for vineyards, and how precision ag and mechanization can help. “A lot of our Concord vi...

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"We just couldn’t find people to farm": Vineyard mechanization in Missouri

“I think the labor shortage hit the Midwest before it hit this part of the country,” said Missouri vineyard director Andrew Meggitt, speaking to a crowd of winegrape growers in Sacramento. “We just couldn’t find people to farm and we needed to farm.” That’s why Meggitt started mechanizing his vineyard, St. James Winery, more than a decade ago. He wasn’t always a fan of mechanization. “In...

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Machines don't save money, don't hurt quality: Ste. Michelle's Haun

Chateau Ste. Michelle’s wines are world-renowned. So when its viticulture department turned to mechanized vineyard practices to compensate for scarcer skill labor, there was no rush to put the practices into place. “We figured we needed to fine-tune these different techniques before we had to use them,” said Jennifer Haun, an enologist with Chateau Ste. Michelle, addressing a crowd of vi...

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