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Abstract

The motivation for this study centers on the labor-and cost-intensive nature of wine grape production and the potential opportunities for robotic technology. The study objectives are to develop cost of production budgets for six representative wine grape vineyards in five U.S. states, assess the economic viability of wine grape production under current operating conditions, evaluate labor costs by production task, and identify common production challenges and tasks that could be augmented with robotic technology development. Investigators have worked with grower panels to develop a production budget for representative vineyards in five states, and to gather input on production tasks that the growers and technology developers feel would be most suitable for robotic technology. A stochastic simulation model was developed to assess baseline pro-forma financial statements for each vineyard size. Combined, the results help in exploring opportunities to strengthen vineyard profitability and competitiveness using robotics.

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