Pictured with the University of Arizona (UA) -developed automated lettuce thinning prototype machine are project collaborators Mark Siemens, left, UA ag mechanization specialist, Yuma, Ariz.; Ryan Herbon, center, Mule Deer Automation, Silver City, N.M.; and Ron Gayler, UA staff technician, Yuma.
Ryan Herbon, left, answers questions on the automated lettuce thinner prototype posed by Yuma, Ariz.-area growers Jesus Tovar, center, and Jeff Percy.
From left, Ryan Herbon, Mark Siemens, and Ron Gayler inspect lettuce seedlings sprayed for termination by the automatic thinner machine.
AN32 fertilizer and sulfuric acid are among the sprays tested to remove unwanted lettuce seedlings. A colored dye was added to the spray for field day demonstration purposes.
An automated lettuce thinner is the top mechanization device sought by western U.S. lettuce growers, according to survey results.
Western Farm Press
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