Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Automation Increases Worker Efficiency In Greenhouses, Nurseries

Date:
February 3, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
The nursery and greenhouse industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of US agriculture, and is inherently labor-intensive.

A report published in the October 2008 issue of HortTechnology measures the socioeconomic impact of automation and mechanization on sales, employment, workers' earnings, safety and worker retention in nurseries and greenhouses.

Related Articles


The nursery and greenhouse industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of U.S. agriculture, and is inherently labor-intensive. According to study author Benedict Posadas, "the goals of this study were to develop a socioeconomic profile of horticulture workers and to evaluate the impact of automation on workers' employment, earnings, safety, skill levels, and retention rates."

Posadas and fellow researchers at Mississippi State and Auburn Universities noted that continuous improvements in the skills of the workforce and year-round availability of workers are necessary to sustain the robust growth of the nursery and greenhouse industries. "Many jobs in the industry require heavy lifting, exposure to chemicals and dust, and these jobs tend to be relatively low-paying. Many commercial operations employ immigrant laborers to meet their rising labor requirements. There is a need to increase the skill level of migrant workers, which will improve wages, recruitment, and job retention", researchers said.

The survey was conducted in 87 randomly selected nurseries and greenhouses in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana over a 16-month period. Results showed that nurseries and greenhouses that had higher sales levels also had higher levels of automation or mechanization.

Researchers also concluded that improvements in automation/mechanization did not necessarily lead to a reduction in the need for labor. Instead, when nurseries and greenhouses increased the use of automation, human labor became more efficient, and workers' earnings increased.

Automation and mechanization were not found to have an impact on the length of time it took to train workers, worker retention, or worker safety. In fact, the presence of automation and mechanization enables nursery and greenhouse owners to hire less-skilled workers. According to study authors, "improvements in automation or mechanization have significant implications on the skill levels of newly hired workers, but have a neutral effect on worker training, safety, and retention rates."

Posadas summarized, "Nursery and greenhouse growers can retain current workers by maintaining good working conditions, providing benefits, and improving worker productivity through the adoption of mechanized or automated production systems. We found that technology in nurseries and greenhouses did not displace any worker, but instead improved total workers' earnings. Improved automation or mechanization allowed nursery and greenhouse operators to pay workers higher wages."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Posadas, Benedict C., Knight, Patricia R., Coker, Randal Y., Coker, Christine H., Langlois, Scott A., Fain, Glenn. Socioeconomic Impact of Automation on Horticulture Production Firms in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Region. HortTechnology, 2008 18: 697-704 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Automation Increases Worker Efficiency In Greenhouses, Nurseries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203142510.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, February 3). Automation Increases Worker Efficiency In Greenhouses, Nurseries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203142510.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Automation Increases Worker Efficiency In Greenhouses, Nurseries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203142510.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
GoPro Video Gives a Lion's-Eye View of The Hunt

GoPro Video Gives a Lion's-Eye View of The Hunt

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) If you’ve ever wondered what getting takeout looks like for lions in Africa, the GoPro video from Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson will give you a lion’s-eye view of the hunt. Jen Markham has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins