AgriNomix is once more expanding its warehouses and offices in Oberlin, Ohio. As a result of the U.S. labor crisis, more growers are investing in automation and machinery. Their mindset has changed to a point that getting the job done is more important than just the ROI of their investment, explained AgriNomix president Robert Lando.
Robert Lando of AgriNomix at Cultivate in July this year.
The 19,250 square feet that the company is breaking ground on this week, is the fourth expansion that AgriNomix sees this decade. It brings the office and warehouse space of the horticultural machinery and automation company to a total of 94,950 square feet. "We have the land for one more expansion after this one, and looking at the challenges our clients are facing, it may not be too far away", said Robert Lando when asked about his company's growth.
Labor shortage is the crux of the matter for many growers when it comes to increasing their focus on automation, said Lando. "The Southern border is tighter than before and the generation born of migrant workers, does not want to do this kind of intensive manual work, and pay isn’t the issue. Horticulture is simply not appealing enough. Growers have always been complaining about this, but the situation is now beyond an aggravation. It’s at a point where many of our growers are running short of workers and they simply can't meet their labour requirements."
Lando said this is causing many growers to look for tools to become less dependent on labour. In the past many growers where holding back from automation, as many thought it was too expensive on the short term and the ROIs often weren't convincing enough. "That all changed. Right now a short-term ROI is not even that important. Growers simply need to get the job done. Becoming a low-cost-producer is great but becoming a lower-labour-producer is essential."
This situation has directed manufacturers like AgriNomix to design new and innovative tools and solutions to meet their customers' desire. "Many growers are asking us to help them make the work more desirable for workers through less physical labour. We’re very busy in R&D with that in mind, and needed to expand our factory again in order to have enough space to develop and assemble our broadening range of products."
The current warehouse of AgriNomix
AgriNomix designs and manufactures complete production lines that allow nurseries, propagators and greenhouse growers to automate large parts of their production, product movement and shipping processes. By designing smart solutions and implementing technologies from a number of leading horticultural solution suppliers like ARIS, Flier, Bosman van Zaal, Luuktech, Urbinati, Demtec, Indigo, Prins Maasdijk and Marten Stolze, AgriNomix delivers tailor made solutions that help growers become less dependent on labor.