Tulare’s annual World Ag Expo will go on after all — online, that is — with expectations for participants and exhibitors from around the world.
Scheduled to kick off Tuesday and run through Thursday, the event now in its 54th year has grown to become the world’s largest trade show for farmers. An average of 100,000 people from 65 countries attend yearly.
This year more than 700 exhibitors are expected to take part online. More than 100 seminars are planned on a variety of topics. Registration can be handled online at https://www.worldagexpo.com.
That the show is going on at all is a reversal from mid-September, when the event was declared canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adjustments were made and a few months ago a decision was made to proceed. One difference this year is that the expo will host exhibitor information all year long.
It won’t be the sprawling, outdoor exhibition floor the event has become known for. There won’t be grilled meats and comfort food, as in years past. But it will still be a showcase of technological innovations in many fields of agriculture.
Already news is being released as part of this year’s show. This week, for example, an announcement was made about a new partnership focused on helping automate the kind of grape-related farmwork Central Valley growers have long awaited.
Viticulture, as grape cultivation is known, requires careful, manually intensive work that can be expensive, largely because of the continuing shortage of experienced field workers across the region.
The partnership unveiled Monday combines the digital perception and crop-protection expertise of French company EXXACT Robotics with the autonomous control systems of Canadian ag company JCA Technologies. A news release on the effort said it will target worker safety and environmentally friendly crop care.
“The collaboration in between JCA team and EXXACT Robotics is a real leap forward to reach actual robotics solutions, to tackle the challenges of vineyards owners regarding safety and performance,” Colin Chaballier, general manager at EXXACT Robotics, said in the release.
Also in the mix this year is a product by Irish company Cainthus that combines digital optics with artificial intelligence to keep an eye on dairy herds to maximize milk production without compromising animal welfare.
The company says its system introduces new operational consistency by making sure dairy cows get the right amount to eat.
“The goal is to ensure that your cows are displaying optimal behavioral patterns to maximum milk production but also animal welfare,” the company said in materials submitted for the ag expo. “ALUS Behavior enables you to monitor lying time, with the intent to make the changes required to improve cow comfort and address lameness or other health issues proactively.”
Cainthus, known for its technology for recognizing bovine faces, added that it has installed its herd-management technology on several major farms in the United States and is now tracking tens of thousands of cows.