For my enterprise story related to my technology beat I would like to cover Washington State University’s exciting developments in tree fruit picking technology. New technology such as the solid set canopy delivery system is intended to improve the economy of Eastern Washington within the field of agriculture. Brian Clark covered this development in a news release and said that although the robotic system will eliminate some lower-wage jobs, it will create many more higher-paying jobs for people to monitor and service the new technology systems because humans will still be necessary regardless. Clark was an informative first interview and very graciously shared his knowledge on many subjects related to tree fruit research. Also of note is WSU’s apple breeding program and the invention of new crops of apples such as the “WA 38” apple which leading researchers at the school are currently working on getting patented, commercialized, and sent out to the public. This story is significant because this technology is being developed by leading researchers at both WSU and around the state as a whole. The success of this system would be tremendous news for the community and improve the state’s economy. Washington is already a leading exporter of apples and other tree fruits but faces stiff competition. The technology will revolutionize tree fruit picking as a whole.
-Brian Clark- WSU Associate Executive Director of University Communications/Agricultural Research Writer
-James McFerson- WA Tree Fruit Commission
-Kate Evans- Associate Scientist/Associate Professor/ WSU Tree Fruit Research Extension Center
(509)663-8181, Ext. 245
-Gary Grove- WSU Professor of Plant Pathology
Labor costly, uncertain: Humans and robots team up for high-tech fruit harvest
Interview with Brian Clark: