For large and small vineyards alike, vineyard mechanization is quickly replacing manual labor. This is good news — not only are we experiencing a shortage of manual labor, but it’s expensive, too. Vineyard mechanization has the ability to take over when manual labor costs become too high or the supply becomes too low.
To explore this concept further, check out “Machines Poised To Replace Vineyard Workers” — an interview with George Zhuang, a Viticulture Farm Advisor for the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Kaan Kurtural of UC Davis’ Department of Viticulture and Enology. During this interview, the two discuss the benefits of vineyard mechanization over the cost of doing the work by hand.
But what exactly are the benefits of vineyard mechanization and what can you use to mechanize your vineyard processes?
What are the benefits of vineyard mechanization?
The cost benefits of vineyard mechanization might be pretty apparent, but check out some of the other benefits:
- Vineyard mechanization can reduce risk: Manual labor isn’t just a tedious task — it can also be a dangerous task. When you remove the human element from specific vineyard processes, you’re also removing the risk of injury, stress, and strain.
- Vineyard mechanization can increase efficiency: When processes are mechanized, you can worry less about breaks, nourishment, working conditions, etc. With the right routine maintenance, machines will perform the same tasks, in relatively the same way, a large percentage of the time (increasing efficiency as a result).
- Vineyard mechanization can improve quality: Many vineyards will admit that mechanized processes can actually lead to similar or better quality berries. It can also regulate yields and improve fruit zone microclimate.
Vineyard mechanization in California, live and in action
Vineyard mechanization is expanding all over the country, but in California — where vineyards are a well-known staple — mechanization is making some serious strides with growers of other crops, as well. Consider the Musco Family Olive Company.
The Musco family relies on modern techniques such as mechanical harvesting to sustain and preserve their farm. Not only does this help them maintain a specific level of quality, but it realistically allows them to compete with other companies. This has been a big push for the Musco family since they lost a portion of their market share to unfair imports from Spain.
“California has long been the largest and most modern producer of agricultural products in the world. We are proud that olives have been a part of this strong industry for many years and we look forward to investing in our future so the California ripe olive industry will thrive and grow for generations to come.” — Felix Musco
What to use for vineyard mechanization
Here at JSC Agricultural Supply, we’ve been creating custom trellis solutions, expanding our product line, and working directly with machine manufacturers to provide mechanization solutions. One of those vineyard solutions is Eco Trellis, a trellis system made up of components that are compatible with the Klima machine. The Klima allows growers to prune their vines mechanically, and Eco Trellis is a suite of products that allows the Klima to work properly.
While Eco Trellis posts are designed for new plantings, the Eco Sleeve and Klima-compatible crossarm are options for retrofitting existing vineyards, depending on the stakes or posts already in place.
The Klima machine is used all over California by vineyards both large and small, and it’s allowing farmers to cut their pruning workforce in half. It’s a revolutionary machine that can change your vineyard for the better, and as the exclusive distributor of Eco Trellis in the US, we can help you get started with putting the Klima to use.
If you’re wondering how exactly the Klima works, you can learn more about it here.
Get started with vineyard mechanization today
We want to help vineyards in California and all over the country grow and increase their efficiency. Through vineyard mechanization and the vineyard and trellis solutions we manufacture in the US, we can show you a safer, more cost-effective way to manage your vineyards.
Give us a call today at 661-616-6977 or check out our online shop.