Make us your home page


Strawberry pickers work during the daytime, when fruit is more likely to bruise. Machine pickers can work at night. The owner of Wish Farms in Plant City is developing automated pickers and hopes to see them at work on a widespread basis in five years. [Times file]

Plant City farmer hopes robot pickers can save strawberry industry from shrinking labor force

PLANT CITY — If current trends continue, the region's status as a major strawberry producer will depend in large part on what happens in Mexico. First, the Latin American nation is selling more of the sweet crop for less, cutting into profits for a Plant City industry now worth nearly a billion dollars a year. And  …