By Fadi Didi
Testing underway for robot that harvests vegetables, and Grey County farmer honoured for innovation.
Testing is now underway for a robot that can harvest, produce and remove leaves from plants.
The robot is being developed by University of Guelph professor Medhat Moussa and it has vision technology that allows it to identify ripe produce.
It also has a pickup arm that will let it gently -- yet firmly -- harvest the vegetables without damaging them.
Three Ontario vegetable greenhouses are testing the robot.
Moussa says if all goes well -- the robots can be commercially available in three years.
Technology has also helped a Grey County farmer win a thousand dollar prize from the Ecological Farmers of Ontario.
Ahren Hughes of Blackshire Gardens near Neustadt re-purposed a 100 year old seed cleaner into a flour sifter.
It capable of doing 80 pounds an hour.
A new sifter costs 25 hundred dollars -- but Hughes made the changes for less than 600.
The invention is used at Cedar Down Farm Grain at Neustadt.
After a dry 2015, many Alberta farmers hope 2016 has better things in store.
Lamont County reeve Wayne Woldanski -- who is also a grain farmer -- says he's not worried about the lack of snow.
He says there's a fair amount of winter left.
Dry conditions forced counties across Alberta in 2015 to declare states of agricultural disaster.