The goal of this project is to develop and identify automated systems that can be adapted by the highly diverse greenhouse and nursery industry. Adoption of this technology will improve working conditions for greenhouse and nursery workers, increase worker retention, improve worker safety, increase worker productivity, improve skill levels, and create new jobs related to servicing the machinery and instrumentation.
The Coastal Research and Extension Center, in cooperation with industry leaders representing the Gulf South, has identified several major areas of program focus. Together, we have developed a comprehensive set of production issues which will be addressed through the integration of applied mechanization technologies developed through this project.
More specifically, there are six focus areas being addressed through this project:
1) to examine all aspects of nursery production for automation potential,
2) to develop technology for automation of the green industry to increase worker capacity,
3) to increase automation through technology transfer,
4) to increase worker safety and comfort through the use of automated technologies,
5) to determine the socio-economic impact of these technologies on green industry owners and workers, and
6) to develop RFID technology for plant shipping and automation.