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World Ag Expo: Lettuce thinners, drones, robotic cow milkers, and more

A few things you may not have heard of
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Posted at 5:06 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 20:10:20-05

The World Ag Expo, with over 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, is taking place in Tulare Tuesday through Thursday.

23ABC walked around over 1,000 exhibits to find some of the most interesting products that you may not know about.

1. Agriculture drones

Aero System West Inc, based in Morgan Hill, is combining the technology of drones with agriculture.

With the help of drones and special agriculture cameras, farmers can get higher quality images for a fraction of the cost of satellite or aerial images.

In August 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a rule that now makes the process of commercial drone use a lot easier, and companies have been taking advantage of it.

The company both sells drones to farmers or takes the equipment out and does the work for them.

RELATED: New FAA rules for drones could affect agriculture technology; aerial mapping for farmers

2. Lettuce thinners

This product might not be what you think it is. Agmechtronix has created a machine that does the job farmers used to do with hoes in lettuce fields. The machine uses a camera and computer system to identify what lettuce heads need to be gotten rid of based off spacing, and sprays herbicide accordingly.

According to CEO Ryan Herbon, farmers use too much seed when they plant lettuce but this machine helps thin it out.

This product also helps cut down on labor, especially on big lettuce growing areas like Salinas and Yuma, Arizona.

3. Cow semen immune to disease

Semex has patented a test to find bulls who have disease-resistant genetics. The use of the frozen semen to artificially inseminate cows cuts down on the cost of antibiotics and hormones needed. The disease resistance increases with each mating.

According to Mark Lopes with Semex, this process could save around $72 per year per animal for farmers.

4. Robotic cow milkers

23ABC's Adam Bowles talked to a company that makes robotic cow milkers.

5. Pond liners

AccuGeo Liner, based in Bakersfield, has sold pond liners for the past 18 years. The product is sold to farmers for reservoirs.

The product prevents water from seeping in to the sand, a huge water saver during dry seasons. The product ships all around the world, and is used a lot in fields around Bakersfield.