Bundle Up

Stay Prepared, Stay Safe

With frigid temperatures in the forecasts, we all need to ensure that we are prepared for what is to come. Many local passes now require chains for vehicles, and some may even close as the weather system becomes more severe. Ensuring that your vehicle has proper snow tires, chains, and reliability is crucial for traveling in the months to come. In addition to your car being prepared, make sure that you are prepared. From various personal endeavors (not always the smartest), I now know the importance of leaving the house with proper layers and emergency gear, so you are safe if you get stuck in a horrible weather situation.

Is H2A Visa Relief Coming?

Dan Newhouse (R-WA) is working on a bipartisan amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 Homeland Security Appropriations Act to change the H2A visa program with an eye toward alleviating labor shortages in agriculture. The amendment would allow growers to access H2A workers year-round, rather than just during the spring and summer growing season. The program would also give H2A worker access to sectors of agriculture that have not traditionally had access. The amendment does not change any H2A visa requirements – it is still a temporary visa –, but the amendment, which has bipartisan support, will increase H2A availability.

The Impact of This Year’s Reduced Apple Crop and Small Fruit Size

Washington State’ apple harvest this year was the lowest recorded crop in the last eight years. The crop was down a whopping 20% from the previous 3-year average. Experts say the dramatic decline in apple production may have been due to the unpredictability of this year’s weather patterns, which affected the bloom, pollination, and other crop input. Harvested fruit ended up being much smaller size than usually seen in the field and at the supermarket. Gala apples, for example, were 25% smaller than normal this harvest.

The result? Farmers had a 20% production decrease with the expected negative economic impact for producers. Consumers too felt the impact as the cost of fruit increased by 10-20%. This type of economic burden is a reason to look for cost savings anywhere possible, including tracking labor throughout farm processes. 2nd Sight products can help growers save money and find process efficiencies. If you are interested in what 2nd Sight can offer, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Upcoming Trade Shows

After our recent trade show appearances at the Tree Fruit & Vine Expo and the Grape, Fruit, and Nut Expo in California, our team is packing back up and heading to some more shows. More specifically, we will be at the North-West Horticulture Exposition on December 5-8 at the Wenatchee Convention Center. Catch up with us at Booth 245 where we are looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces.

Following the NW Hort Expo, we will be in Savannah, GA, for the South-East Regional Fruit and Vegetable Expo (Jan. 5-8, 2023), Salem, OR, for the North-West Agriculture Show (Jan. 18-20, 2023), Abbotsford, British Columbia for the Pacific Agriculture Show (Jan. 26-28, 2023), and lastly, Kennewick, WA, for the WineVit Convention (Feb. 6-9, 2023). We encourage everyone who is local to come say hello at these shows and grab some of our displayed merchandise!

Autumn Adjustments

Preparing Your Units for Winter

As winter quickly approaches, it is crucial to prepare your 2nd Sight units for the off season. When your harvest is finished, 2nd Sight recommends the following for the FairPick:
• Charge your machines
• Power them off completely
• Leave them unplugged from the charger
• Close and latch the plastic cover over the unit’s display box.
• Do not leave any forms of excessive weight on the scales when they are not in use.

If you do not use FairTrak handhelds for an extended period, please make sure to store them in a controlled atmosphere near room temperature. Leaving handheld devices exposed to wintry weather, cold temperatures and moisture will decrease the device’s lifespan.

Will Broadband Internet Services Reach the Farm?

Internet access is key to business these days, and we all know the frustrations of not having good connectivity. Farm access to internet is currently abysmal, but will that change?
As a result of the recent Infrastructure Act, the federal government is taking steps to close the urban-rural “digital divide.” This divide arose because internet infrastructure and resources have focused on urban centers, leaving rural areas and farms with spotty internet service at best.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has been mapping rural areas with the goal of providing better access to the worldwide web for agriculture. But a recent Capital Press article questioned whether agricultural areas would get the infrastructure they need. Experts believe the FCC’s map does not truly include agricultural areas.

There is no telling what better internet service would do to help farms and farmers, but a 2019 USDA report estimated that better internet infrastructure in rural areas could result in billions of dollars in benefits nationwide and boost farm profitability.

2nd Sight understands that farmers need better internet access. Every sector, including agriculture, has become increasingly data driven. Better internet access in agricultural areas would improve farmers’ abilities to gather and share field data, improving labor tracking, data collection, and farm communication. Increased internet connectivity in rural areas is needed. Let us hope that the FCC gets this right and that more farms get the internet connectivity they require to do business in the digital world.
Trade Show Season

As harvest has finished, the 2nd Sight staff is preparing for this year’s run of trade shows. We recently made an appearance at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. There, we met with greenhouse growers and exhibited our FairTrak system and our biodegradable twine.

Next on our agenda are the Grape, Nut, and Tree Fruit Expo and the Tree and Vine Expo in Stanislaus, and Fresno, California, respectively. Here, when you visit, you can see our FairPick Lite system on full display where it demonstrates its barcode and weight tracking capabilities.

After our appearance at these California trade shows, the 2nd Sight crew will be heading out to bring product information to the ag community. Come see us at the NW Hort Expo in Wenatchee, WA (December 2022), the SE Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, GA (January 2023), and the Pacific Ag Show in Abbottsford, BC, Canada (January 2023).

Feel free to reach out to a 2nd Sight representative for more information regarding trade shows we are attending, potential in person demonstrations, and complimentary trade show tickets!

A Year of Severity

Another La Nina Inbound

After a year of extreme highs and lows, drought, and late freezes, we now may be facing our third straight La Niña winter. Experts predict a 91% chance that a La Niña weather front will start this November. The odds of this weather settling in for the remainder of the winter (January-March) is much lower at 54%, but the odds still favor cold and snow to the Northwest according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. It seems to me that finishing out 2022 with these severe weather systems is par for the course.

Organic Hydroponics

Modern growers raise crops using various technologies; hydroponics is one popular method. The advantage of hydroponics is that crops grow without soil; they flourish year-round, use less water, and grow faster with higher yields. Although hydroponic crops generally grow in greenhouses, growers have begun growing hydroponically outdoors as well. As hydroponics have grown in popularity, an interesting issue has arisen: can hydroponic crops, which are grown without soil, be considered organic? Over the past 5 years, various decisions and legal actions involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Center for Food Safety (CFS), and traditional organic farmers have wrestled with whether hydroponic crops are worthy of the “organic” tag. This issue seems to have been resolved this week as the Coalition of Sustainable Organics (CSO) announced that a panel of three U.S. District Court judges in San Francisco, California affirmed the USDA’s authority to recognize and certify organic growers using hydroponic production methods.

Market Expansion

As many of you may already know, piece work expands far beyond farming, and as a company who specializes in maximizing the efficiency and fairness of piece work employees, we have been trying to expand our customer market. We are proud to announce that we now have a distributor in Louisiana who specializes in the crayfish industry. The similarities between crayfish and fruit picking piece work are quite surprising. Pickers pick lugs of blueberries, weigh them, and then get credit for the weights; workers in the crayfish industry peel crayfish, fill their bin with tails, weigh them, and get credit for the weight. We see opportunity with other seafood such as lobsters, fish processing, and any other piece rate harvesting. As we continue to look at expanding our customer market, the potential possibilities seem endless.