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by Curtis Phillips | April 2, 2014 | 11:14 AM

The Oregonian article about the pruning-bot, dubbed "Wall-Ye-France" raises a couple interesting quandaries. At least for the rarefied climate of the Pinot Noir growers around McMinnville, Oregon, and environs, any agricultural labor shortage seems to be less acute for pruning than for harvest.In France, at least regionally, the opposite seems to be the case.

On one level I can see why this would be the case. Harvest is more or a panic whereas pruning can be stretched-out out over several weeks and months. I would think, however, that pruning would also be more forgiving operation to implement this sort of automation. There is time during pruning-season if the prune-bot needs to be serviced or repaired. During harvest, one day of down-time could spell disaster.

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