An award-winning entrepreneur partnered with DISHER to design and develop a precise system for removing harmful mummy nuts infested with navel orangeworms from almond trees to increase a grower’s yield.
Navel orangeworm (NOW) is the primary insect pest of almonds in California. It poses a high risk to an almond crop because the worms bore into the nut and feed on the almond meat which can also spread dangerous food safety contaminants. Removing the mummy and the NOW is an essential part of winter sanitation for almond growers.
DISHER facilitated an innovation workshop to ideate with experts. The best methods were researched and field-tested in Michigan, California, and Australia.
Our electronics group selected partners for the machine-learning model and the autonomous motion technology. DISHER engineers developed image recognition and targeting algorithms to identify and remove mummy nuts.
Full-scale, operational prototypes were built integrating an AI firing system with biodegradable pellets. Iterations are ongoing based on grower feedback and data analysis.
“After I saw it target mummy nuts and remove some of the toughest ones—it looks like there is great promise. I think automation is going to be part of our lives going forward.” Jonathan Hoff, CEO – Monte Vista Farming Co.
DISHER’s marketing team worked with our customer on crafting the company’s brand identity. A go-to-market strategy with social media and event support is being developed and executed.