In 1982, Dave Crinklaw, a California crop grower and sprayer started a company called Crinklaw Farm Services with his father Bob. This is where the Global Unmanned Spray System, the world’s first and only autonomous spraying system, began. Thirty-six years ago, Dave and Bob only had two tractors that they utilized to spray their farm and within their business. Bobs retirement left Dave with the reins to the business and he planned to take full advantage and change his industry with his own hands. Dave’s invention allows vineyards in California to be sprayed up to 5,000 acres a day which is unparalleled to any manned spraying system. GUSS is mainly, as of right now, used to spray mid to large-scale tree farms which grow almonds, pistachios, walnuts, citrus, and/or stone fruit.
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The devoted team members, Chase Schapansky, Jeremy Bischel, Gary Thompson, Hugo Cruz, Manuel Cruz and Cameron Bischel, are what make Crinklaw Farm Services become an industry leader in the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding regions in Arizona. GUSS Ag has paired with Crinklaw Farm Services to bring incomparable spraying to this region due to the fact that GUSS is the only unmanned spraying system on the market now. When GUSS’s blueprints began in 2007, Dave had one vision in mind, to create the best sprayer on the market, which included making it unmanned. By programming from a van, on location of the farm, you can control GUSS’s every move. One of the hardest challenges for Dave was getting this one of a kind unmanned system to work. Due to the tree canopies, the signal was very weak and did not communicate with the computers. Perfecting problems like this is what made this system so unique, everything that your conventional sprayer doesn’t have, GUSS does. With all of these advances, CFS LP had become the spraying company in California and parts of Arizona.
The Global Unmanned Spray System is a very unique product that will greatly impact how the world disperses products onto fruit trees. There are many strengths that the system has to offer, but the largest benefit to the GUSS is multiple machines can be monitored from an offsite location by only one individual. This is a game changer in the agricultural field because now there is a need for only one person to monitor the GUSS instead of having to have one operator per machine. Another strength that the GUSS has is with the system being self-operating using a global positioning sensor there is no fear of having operator error. The Global positioning sensor is controlled by satellites. Meaning that there is a very small window for the GUSS to drift off track because of how accurate the sensor is. Even though the product does have a many great strengths it does have a few weaknesses that need to be discussed.
The largest downfall that the GUSS has is that as of right now the system is only capable of dispersing product onto fruit trees. If the GUSS could spray on corn and other crops it would be much more versatile. Another weakness is that unlike man operated sprayers the GUSS can’t be driven over road long distance to its destination so it needs to be transported. In the business of Agriculture, the possibilities are absolutely endless. Whether it being expanding your current business to new grounds with further markets and customers. Or even expanding your business to a new general focus, for example, different crops and products. With all of that being said GUSS is in great positioning to expand their current business to new heights. As I stated earlier, I believe CFS LP’s product of GUSS can expand much further benefiting their company positively.
The first step they should make is creating an unmanned sprayer for different crops such as: corn, soybeans, etc. Yes, this is much different than spraying the company’s main focus of tree farms, but with this different market the expansion is endless. With this change the company can move to the east coast and startup operation right away, with unlimited opportunities of crop spraying around the area. The company itself has a difficult aspect of what threats it faces. GUSS is fine in the perspective that they are the only unmanned spraying system at the time. But the threats that are faced during this time are economically along with competition with manual application. Economically farmers these days struggle. Farmers that own small farms are going out of business everyday due to large scale operations. This creates a problem with GUSS because that’s one less customer every time, and most large-scale operations are applying spray themselves not hiring anyone else to do it.
The main customer basis for this product is for farmers owning large to mid-sized operations consisting mainly in the area of stone fruit, almonds, pistachios, citrus and walnuts. This product is for anyone who wants to take their farming techniques practices and management to the next level because the GUSS automated spryer is fully autonomous and it can save famers in money and time there is only one control van needed for this machine so there is a need for only one employee to run this machine also because of its streamline design it helps to prevent fruit waste. This product could also be marketed to the beginner farmer who is looking to revolutionize the previous and old farming techniques with 21st century techniques to increase their profit. This product not only is beneficial to new farmers and established farms, but it also could help with farmers who are looking to pass the farm to the next generation but first must incorporate new technology into the farm to grow it to the size they need it to be before taking a step back
When it comes to competition of the Global Unmanned Spray System, there isn’t quite another elephant in the room of unmanned spraying systems. Due to the fact that GUSS is the only land based spraying system of its kind developed so far, it will allow time for the market for sprayers like this to be developed and let GUSS show its untouchable performance. If we take a step larger and look at all different kinds of crop sprayers, the competition begins to grow and get tighter. The competition that GUSS faces are those of manually operated sprayers. At the moment GUSS is the only unmanned operating system. The main competition is with applicators such as Rogator, John Deere, etc. These companies run machines that can go up to a 120 ft boom width. But with these operating systems there lies the possibilities of operator error. In the long run GUSS is a product that has the possibility of unlimited expansion, with new markets, and more acres.
The closest rival competitor that CFS LP could face wouldn’t drive by GUSS’s side. This new product would spray from above. Drones like the RMUS Crop Spraying Drone are relatively cheap and won’t have to worry about signals being blocked off by canopies. These drones can fly over whatever they are spraying and do it in a timely fashion. A major downside to these aerial sprayers, like the RMUS CSD, is that they only can cover around 7-10 acres per hour, which is unmatched to GUSS, which can spray over 5000 acres in one day. Possibly one day in the future, these supersized drones will be developed to cover more acreage and become a close competitor. Another area that we can look at when it comes to competition is the self-propelled sprayer that some large sized farm possesses. New equipment such as AgCo Rogator C Series and the John Deere 4045 are in close competition with the GUSS. The only large difference between these sprayers is that these two examples are self-propelled and the GUSS is unmanned. When the price of GUSS comes out to the public, this may be a major factor in where CFS LP will fall within its fellow competition.
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