If current trends continue, Central Florida’s status as a major strawberry producer will depend largely on what happens in Mexico. The labor force is shrinking, and the work is backbreaking. Robots can work longer hours and harvest crops at night, which is better for the integrity of the fruit. According to one farmer, if we don’t automate American agriculture and these specialty crops like strawberries, they’re either going to be very expensive or non-existent within the next 10 years. One farm owner in Plant City, FL, created his own robotics company in 2013, and its first robots are expected to debut next winter.
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