Machine will help automate hop trellis twining

Hop farmers in the Pacific Northwest use roughly 425,000 miles of twine each season to string their trellises by hand, but a new machine can do much of the hard work for them.

Hop plants are perennials grown on a trellis, each year putting up a "bine," similar to a vine. The bine must have twine to climb as it grows, said Ann George, executive director of the Washington Hop Commission and Hop Growers of America.

She estimated 57,000 acres of hops are grown in the region, with roughly 890 hills per acre. Growers typically use two 22-foot-long strings per hill.

Each year, twine is connected from the hill to the trellis wire, 18 feet above. During the season, the bine grows the full height of the trellis.

The commission and growers talked to Spokane-based 2nd Sight BioScience about automating the twining.... Read more

Integrating with CipherLab Devices Develops Business Solutions for Agricultural Sector

CipherLab is pleased to support one of our independent software vendors, 2nd Sight, to build systems that improve efficiency in specialty crop and commercial nursery operations in the US, Canada, Europe, and many other regions. 2nd Sight is an agricultural technology company in Spokane, Washington that engineers better solutions for the Ag Industry with a focus on improving current Agtech and practices related to farm labor tracking hardware and software and harvest scale systems.

Expertized in AIDC solutions for a wide range of industries, CipherLab has been continually working with 2nd Sight since 2014 to increase workflow efficiency, decrease labor demands, and cut costs in the agricultural sector. Because of our long-term trustworthy partnership, 2nd Sight has chosen many of our industrial mobile computer devices ranging from RS30 and RS31 to RS50 and RS51 in order to develop innovative hardware and software packages that improve data acquisition by increasing accuracy, decreasing labor requirements, and providing detailed records for better decision-making. A suite of Android apps run on CipherLab, and its rugged and durable devices have become a requirement in the harsh farm environment. 2nd Sight systems utilize the built-in NFC reader as well as the barcode scanner on their devices to track the working time of farmworkers. The software and handheld devices integrate with other 2nd Sight components including thermal Bluetooth printers to print employee receipts, external RFID readers to improve workflow, and field scales to pay pickers by weight. Whether the farmworkers are paid per piece, by container, or by weight, 2nd Sight has an app to track the job. All apps communicate with an online web portal where users can manage data and reports.

2nd Sight has developed a simple and intuitive software for CipherLab's rugged and user-oriented devices to provide powerful data solutions with a mission to maximize productivity and efficiency in the specialty crop industry while minimizing costs and relieving the stress of growers.

2nd Sight Receives Grant Funds from WSDA to Develop Ag Automation

Spokane, WA: 2nd Sight received the final sign-off from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to receive funding through the Washington State Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). 2nd Sight has the official “green light” to develop a Fully Automated Tying and Staking System. The grant from the USDA along with funding from the Washington Hop Commission will help with development costs of the system that will automatically tie and stake twine in commercial hop production. Read our project abstract and see all 2019 SCBGP Grant recipients here.

2nd Sight's Electronic Farm Labor Tracking Featured in Finland Magazine

Meeli Roosa runs Pitkäsen Kurkkutila Oy, a vegetable farm in Finland. She implemented the FairTrak and FairPick Lite systems back in the spring of 2018. Meeli was looking for a way to better manage her labor data which is a challenge on a farm with seasonal workers performing many different tasks for a variety of crops.

Meeli was our first customer in Finland. Recently, she and her farm were featured in a cover story in Puutarha, an Ag magazine published for Finnish growers. In the article, Meeli talks about how the FairTrak and FairPick Lite systems have made her life easier by providing a simple and efficient way to capture labor data on the farm.

Thank you, Meeli, for "plugging" our products in Europe and being a perfect example of a progressive grower utilizing technology to advance farming. AgTech is a global movement. Check out the article and some great pictures of 2nd Sight tech in Finland!

Tree caliper device (InstaCaliper) on GrootGroenPlus 2018

The question of improving the current method of measuring trees and counting so it is less time-consuming has been around for many years. Rob Verkoelen of Vitelia Agroculture has found the answer to this question.

The InstaCaliper, a tree measuring and counting device from the United States, has been adapted for the European market. In collaboration with GroenVision, the process of importing data after measuring and counting has also been tackled so that with one press of a button, the measurements and counts are immediately in stock and ready for sale.... Read more

New Tech in the Orchard

It’s more important than ever to maintain an efficient and happy labour pool. Growers need to find new ways to mitigate rising labour and input costs by implementing new technology in the orchard and vineyard.

Electronic labour and product tracking is more accurate and offers many benefits and savings to the grower:

- Eliminate punch cards and checkers
- No more manual data entry
- Automated reports decrease time spent running payroll
- Precise clock in/out times and pay by weight options eliminate overpayments
- Fast in-field scanning has employees back to work in seconds
- Clear, searchable records in case of audit

2nd Sight BioScience develops data collection systems specifically for Ag and harsh environments. Software and hardware packages are simple-to-use, reliable, and flexible whether you pay by hours, by piece, or by weight.

Sukhpaul Bal of Valley Orchards in Kelowna implemented the FairPick system this past season to improve efficiency in his cherry harvest. Bal recognizes that, “In the past, so much time had been spent on trying to get our pickers to fill up their buckets, and the manual counting and data entry. Now we can focus more energy on the quality at harvest and never pay for cherries that are not there!”

Not only has the system saved him money, Bal notes that, “The 2nd Sight staff is very hands-on and provides the necessary service and support to ensure the transition to the FairPick system is a smooth one." Read more.

2nd Sight BioScience and tomato grower CombiVliet to look for opportunities to further automate harvesting

Marcel Pinckaers (Foreign Agricultural Service) and Alec Boydston (Foreign Commercial Service) accompanied Kevin Oldenburg, CEO of Spokane, Washington based 2nd Sight BioScience, on a fact-finding visit to commercial greenhouse growers in the Westland region of the Netherlands.... Read more

Tech company gearing up for harvest interest

SPOKANE — Agriculture tech company 2nd Sight Bioscience has sold 50 of its automated harvest weighing stations for the coming season. The Spokane business will build 50 more units next month, some of which are included in that sale, said Monika Cetnarowski, director of business development. Growers have tested the company’s FairPick system in recent seasons. The product is designed to improve labor efficiency, paying pickers by weight and recording the data electronically.... Read more

2nd Sight BioScience releases InstaCaliper

The company took the feedback received from attendees at the 2015 Farwest nursery show into account when developing the InstaCaliper. At the show, growers expressed several common frustrations about taking inventory of ornamental and fruit tree nursery stock. Bending and kneeling take a physical toll, and manual recording is time-consuming and error-prone. The InstaCaliper was developed to be an easier, faster, and less expensive way for nursery growers to get the job done.... Read more

Taking the guesswork out of harvest

SPOKANE — Growers would be able to more accurately pay workers for what they pick, if Kevin Oldenburg has his way. Oldenburg is CEO of 2nd Sight BioScience. The company recently completed summer trials for FairPick, a weighing system designed to take the guesswork out of paying pickers for hand-harvesting fruits and vegetables. The system measures weight instead of volume. Pickers wear a radio-frequency identification bracelet or card. They scan their card on a FairPick scale, weigh the fruit or vegetables they have harvested and get a receipt.... Read more