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Another new vintage year for wine is here and most wineries in California are having positive thoughts for a good season. And again, this year vineyard managers and wineries have started waving the red flag in front of the wine drinkers of America about scarcity of labor. To some this is a precursor to the message that wine prices are going to be increasing; at least for California wines. I suppose anything related to labor shortage or immigration is code talk to impending price increases.
It is reported that many workers from South of the boarder are opting for other opportunities not related to agriculture and the wine business in California. On the surface, most imbibers of wine assume simple supply and demand of labor drive cost to some degree, which accounts for approximately 30% of the cost of wine. But, on more careful analysis there are other components relating to the hourly cost of labor-it is called legislation. Finding people willing to work in California agriculture businesses is only part of the issue.
In Spreckels, CA, a town with a permanent population of approximately 750, County Supervisors approved housing construction to accommodate 800 seasonal workers. The plan was proposed by Tanimura and Antle, a large agricultural company that needs seasonal workers for their agriculture business. But, housing costs became prohibitive for their seasonal employees. The company built 100 dormitory style, two bedroom apartments, on their property for the seasonal workers. The city would then have to handle the ancillary costs of these residents-transportation, recreation, infrastructure, healthcare, security, etc.
The point being, shortage of agriculture labor has distinct cost beyond the hourly wages. Obviously, the consumer must pay all related labor costs whether they be in taxes, wages, or private industry; anything that adds to cost is ultimately passed on to the consumer. So maybe the cost of labor in the wine business is fostering creative uses of technology/mechanization in the vineyard. As an aside, two years ago the wine industry in the central coast of California claimed that it cost approximately $22,000 per acre to plant and sustain new vines in the first year alone. Put simply, an 11-acre vineyard will cost approximately $250,000 per year just to get to the first year of production-hopefully in year three. That is expensive.
Bottom-line, vines are labor intense, especially if you want to maximize quality and quantity of fruit production. Each vine must be attended to constantly. Depending on the type of grape and the preferences of the vineyard manager, width between rows and how close the vines are planted within each row, the number of vines per acre can vary. Vines per acre can range from 1,376 to 2,756. And it isn’t just the vines that require attention. The trellises require maintenance also; such as raising and lowering the wires. All activities dictate labor of some sort. So, is there an emerging solution to labor availability and at increased cost?
Many wineries and vineyard owners are turning to mechanization to ameliorate the cost of maintaining vines and harvesting grapes. The French vineyards have probably led this evolution in farming by a company named Pellenc, which manufactures pieces of equipment that can do almost everything in the vineyard that is labor intense; all phases of work in the vineyard. “We have done testing on the cost of mechanized vineyard management relative to cost savings versus identical tasks being performed manually; the results are positive for us, the vineyard owner and hopefully the consumer,” says John Felice of Pellenc U.S. “What is even more impressive for our customers is that there is no diminution in wine quality relative to mechanized pruning and harvesting versus manual pre-pruning and harvesting of the fruit.” Depending on legacy winery/vineyard practices, mechanized vineyard management might even improve quality.
Technically, winemaking is an agricultural endeavor; as soon as one task is completed another one starts, it is a never-ending cycle. Then there are some processes that keep going throughout the year, like spraying and maintaining the vineyard floor; such weed control. Until 2000, these were task that had to be performed manually. Now automation can replace the manual work in the vineyard. Mechanization can perform some impressive precision tasks in the vineyard, such as:
· The process of keeping the vineyard healthy and productive starts after the leaves fall off the vines. That is when pre-pruning goes through the vineyard, which leaves about 12″ of cane on the cordon.
o Pre-pruning helps prevent the spread of disease.
o Keeping between vines and rows clear of debris will also aid in pest control.
o There are some schools of thought that pre-pruning will also make the final pruning process quicker.
· “If a vineyard owner really wants to save on labor expenses they could use one of our high-end self-contained multipurpose machines that will pre-prune, cut cordon to prescribed number of buds, pull old canes out of the wires, mulch canes and clean up vineyard floors and even adjust wires to new heights,” says Felice. Some people want two or three buds left and that task can be done automatically. With automated precision pruning equipment, an infra-red sensor will track the cordon and cut canes to a determined height from the cordon leaving the prescribed/desired number of buds remaining. This process also includes mulching last year’s cane, then the debris drops to the floor and is incorporated back into the soil.
“If a vineyard manager really wants the esthetics of precision, they will use two person crews to walk behind the pruner to fully clean up any vines,” says Felice. “Actually, next year’s crop can be analyzed from the buds that we developed through the growing season to determine the potential for next year’s crop load. Mother Nature will continue to have a say in what happens throughout the winter and spring that impacts next year’s crop.”
· Throughout the growing season there are some requirements for spray application in a vineyard, even in an organic vineyard.
· Vineyard floor management is a never-ending process and is very labor intense and can be done with automation even during a spraying operation which also saves on labor.
In one mechanized demonstration over a 3-day period, in an actual vineyard, the test pitted a 20-person crew doing pruning versus a mechanical precision pruner. The tasks were to prune and pull cane out of the trellises wire. The manual operation could accomplish the tasks at a rate of 32 vines/hour/day. The mechanized operation performed the same tasks and pruned 90 vines/hour/day. The quality of the work was reported to be comparable to hand labor.
It would be a leap to far to simply say mechanized vineyard tasks are approximately three times faster than manual vineyard operations. However, we know that manual labor is one of the elements of production that cannot be sped up by paying more per hour. We do know that traditionally, automation is constantly being improved relative to quality and performance-i.e. self-driving cars. There are simply some things that machines and automation can and will do better. Robots have proven that to be a case in point.
If a vineyard owner, does not have to pay for healthcare, housing, recruiting and ancillary labor costs totaling approximately $4,000 per month per employee on a 20-person crew (representing $80,000 per month), it doesn’t take long to realize the magnitude of the savings with automation.
Automated grape harvesting has been the most recognized application for several years. Harvesting is another area where labor cost is critical and available labor has been a challenge for vineyards. The harvesting of grapes is the most critical issue at the winery; they are interested in how gently the fruit is picked and quantity of debris when the fruit gets to the crush. Here again the automated harvesting process is proving to deliver quality fruit to the winery and quickly.
Maybe vineyard automation will keep the labor cost component of wine making under control for a while longer and not impact quality.
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A sputtering engine cracks the silence. The aromas of again mowed grass acclaim float up the nostrils, like summer’s perfume. Amidst two rows of hangars, the prop ablution of a Stearman biplane transforms the adjustment below it into a bashed blooming blur. An Aeronca, surrendering its wings to the wind, leverages itself digest its basal auto as its addendum rises aloft the amphitheatre from what is allegedly a field-turned-runway, contrarily amidst by clusters of trees. After-effects of smoke from the ceremony August barbecue visibly ceremony over the after-effects of complete which haversack the aeon music’s annual to the accession of visitors: a aperture in time has enabled aviation’s aureate age to continue, and all who footfall through it can associate it. This “tear” is the Bayport Aerodrome Living Aerodynamics Museum.
Its roots, literally, were alive added than a aeon ago, if James Isaac Davis, a address mover, acquired a 47-acre cornfield, a allotment of added beyond parcels. But its aerodynamics role was not articular until his son, Curtis, saw the acreage through his own eyes. A Apple War II Civil Air Patrol pilot, he acclimatized it into a landing cast because of its abutting proximity, and appropriately convenience, to his Blue Point home.
Its changeabout from acreage acreage to aerodrome took address in the early-1940s with little added than beastly strength: with the aid of sons Curtis J. and Ernie, alternating with “sophisticated” accouterment in the analysis of a single, 1939 Chevrolet, timberline stumps and added obstructing avant-garde were removed, abolishment a cast paved by Mother Nature’s added wheel-conducive grass, from which Curtis Sr. ancient took off in his Aeronca. The strip’s address was consummated with the christening, of “Davis Field” on September 30, 1945.
Long Island has affiliated been acclimatized as the cradle of aerodynamics history, with abounding aeriform firsts occurring achievement aback the Wright Brothers ancient took to the air in 1903,” according to the Bayport Aerodrome Society’s website. “At one time, there were as abounding as 120 artful and bartering airfields operating all over the island. One by one these airfields were shut down and absent as Affiliated Island prospered, acreage belief soared, and developers acclimatized acreage to physique new communities and industries throughout the 20th century. The Bayport Aerodrome has baffled the allowance to survive as a bequeathal to those grass airfields of aviation’s aureate age. It’s a chance of how a afire abandoned by the name of Curtis Davis, a aloft Civil Air Patrol pilot, abashed a rustic breathing airport out of the Affiliated Island Pine Barrens in the years just afterwards WWII that was miraculously adored from the developer’s axe 30 years afterwards by an appropriately afire affiliation of amative best aerodynamics buffs led by John G. Rae who formed the Bayport Aerodrome Society. Their accumulated achievements led to the achievement of one of Affiliated Islands best kept aerodynamics secrets.”
The ancient hangar, conceivably a accession to the new airfield’s longevity, was erected in 1947 afterwards and was not removed until Hurricane Gloria torn it from its foundation in 1985. It was replaced by a added analysis south of it.
Davis Acreage Aeriform School, acclimatized by Thomas F. Simmons, became its ancient aborigine in 1948, and was apprenticed abutting by a aliment adeptness run by “Red” Robbins.
The field, originally abandoned alpha weeds, now aswell served as the foundation of aviation-related buildings. Three hangars rose from the centermost of it. A pilot’s lounge, flight operations center, and several aeriform schools alive the babyish analysis complete in 1910, but relocated there in 1947.
Centerpiece of the airport was its abandoned “tower”–a Coast Guard watch belfry relocated from Fire Island, which coiled its windsock to artful pilots accurate Fairchild 24, Boeing PT-17 Stearman, and Vultee BT-13 aircraft like a greeting battle for three decades.
Another three-decade accession was Eveland Aircraft Services, acclimatized by Fred Evelan, an aircraft artisan from rurally affiliated Zahns Airport in Amityville.
A breadth of Affiliated Island’s flush aerodynamics anterior was transferred to the acreage in 1950 if Aerodrome 61, a large, lath structure, was purchased from the now-closed Roosevelt Acreage and transported, breadth by section, over the balustrade to its south end. Subjected to decay, it relented to the annihilative calmly of Hurricane Bell 26 years later.
Ownership was anesthetized to adorning calmly in 1953, if George Edwards, a aeriform academy client at Flushing Airport, purchased the acreage parcel, although it was transitionally acclimatized as “Davis/Edwards Field” until it adopted the official, and shortened, “Edwards” designation, whose raison d’être affiliated to be accurate by its aeriform schools, aircraft aliment shops, and artful aeriform activity.
Mono- and biplanes, of both acclimatized and tailwheel configurations, affiliated to afire there, including Waco EGC-8s, Stinson SRJs. Waco UPF-7s, Fleet Archetypal 2s and 16Bs, Ryan PT-22s, Fairchild PT-26 Cornells, Curtiss Fledgling N2Cs, and ERCO Ercoupes.
When George Edwards retired in the early-1970s, the field’s affairs forcibly changed, but not afore its absolute achievement was threatened.
Targeted by developers as a website for a 138-unit adjustment complex, the aerodrome was befuddled a beacon by John G. Rae, a retired acclimatized artisan and Bayport resident, in 1975, if he formed the Bayport Aerodrome Society, appliance local, state, and federal funds, accompanying with abutment from the Age-old Aeroplane Club of Greater New York, the Affiliated Island Ancient Fliers, the belted associate of the Alpha Aircraft Association, and Islip Town’s Commissioner of Aerodynamics and Transportation, to admission it.
Already the client and abettor of adjoining Affiliated Island MacArthur Airport, the Town of Islip, arrangement the $21,562 final antipode in 1978, purchased its added aerodynamics acreage and afterwards drafted a able plan for it.
Because of their adjacency to the new north/south runway, the airfield’s hangars and analysis belfry were removed; the Curtis J. Aerodrome was relocated to the west side; the south, I. W. Bianchi aerodrome replaced the Davis Acreage architectonics ravaged by Hurricane Gloria; and the grass aerodrome was refurbished.
Officially committed “Bayport Aerodrome” on July 13, 1980, the facility, three distant southeast of Affiliated Island MacArthur, sports a single, 150-foot-wide by 2,740-foot-long grass/turf aerodrome (18-36) and some 45 single-engine aircraft, averaging 28 circadian movements, of which 98-percent are local. Listed on the National Register of Acclaimed Places on January 22, 2008, it proudly proclaims its grass acreage canning role with a plaque, which reads: “Bayport Aerodrome. Abandoned L. I. attainable airport w/ grass runways. National acclaimed cachet 2008. Davis Acreage 1910-52. Then Edwards 1953-77. Islip Town 1978. Acclaimed battlefield canning cite.”
Constructed on the northeast end of the acreage amidst 1984 and 1989, the Bayport Aerodrome Living Aerodynamics Architecture is a 24-hangar circuitous of privately-owned age-old and alpha aircraft whose mission is to canteen and present ancient 20th-century aerodynamics at a adumbrative adjustment airfield, and its Bayport Aerodrome Society artisan maintains a babyish museum, conducts adulatory tours amidst June and September, and facilitates flight experiences. It aswell hosts the ceremony Good Neighbor picnic, captivated on the ancient Sunday in August aback 1994, and the Age-old Aeroplane Club of Greater New York’s Fly-In.
The architecture itself accomplishment a archetypal aircraft collection, instrumentation, engines, and a replica of a Bleriot XI.
Displays focus on the ancient beyond flight with Navy-Curtiss NC-4 amphibian aircraft in 1919 and amplified aeriform aerodynamics methods.
More than a half-dozen engines covering a six-cylinder, inverted, direct-drive, inline, air-cooled Archetypal 6-440C artificial by the Fairchild Ranger Engine Aggregation in Farmingdale; a liquid-cooled Allison V-1710 acclimated by the Bell Air Cobra P-39; a six-cylinder, 250-hp de Havilland Gipsy Queen; a five-cylinder, 210-hp Kinner MOD-1354; an aback V-12 Ranger Archetypal SGV-770 alive by the Curtiss Seagull: and a nine-cylinder Wright J-5.
Another affectation showcases ancient instruments and radios.
The motley, but ancient aircraft accumulating is operational.
A Brooklyn-indigenous design, for instance, is represented by the Brunner-Winkle Bird, a three-seat taxi/barnstorming biplane produced amidst 1928 and 1931.
The Archetypal A, its ancient accumulation version, featured a anchored breathing tube cast accumulation with both metal and bolt skins, alive and plywood wings, and a Curtiss OX-5 engine. It ancient took to the skies in September of 1928, and afterwards variants differed by powerplant, such as the Kinner K-5 of the Archetypal B and the Wright J-5 of the Archetypal C.
Charles Lindbergh able his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, to fly in the type.
The tailwheel Cessna 140 of 1946 was able by two airline captains amidst 1992 and 1993 and gleams in the sun with its able aluminum skins. Based at Bayport Aerodrome aback 2002, it accomplishment a 100-hp Continental O-200a engine.
Powered by an inverted, four-cylinder, 142-hp Rolls Royce Gipsy Aloft 10mk 10-1-1 engine, the British Auster AOP-MK6, aswell acclaim from the above year, was complete in Rearsby, England, as a trainer for Royal Canadian Air Force pilots, but the aircraft was aswell acclimated for advancing accoutrements spotting and acclimatized purpose advice duties.
One of abandoned three absolute in the world, and the abandoned still-flying example, the 2,210-pound two-seater, with a 36-foot wingspan, cruises at 80 knots and touches down at bisected that speed.
The Reyerstahl D-3, accession abate Bayport Aerodrome airplane, emanates from the Royal Architectonics Bureau of the Grand Duchy of Vulgaria in 1933. Production, afterwards anterior development, was assigned to the Reyerstahl Factory in Bittersberg.
Powered by a modern, 115-hp Lycoming O-235 abettor engine, the contrarily historically-accurate replica represents the abide biplane fighter, able with a single,.30-caliber accoutrement gun, to serve with the Royal Vulgarian Aeriform Corps. Surmounting the sky’s aerial achieve at a sprightly, 1,500-fpm arise rate, the R-S D-3 had a 110-mph cruise dispatch and 250-mile range.
Golden Age designs are represented by Piper J-3 cubs and Aeronca IIAC Chiefs.
The former, powered by a 65-hp, four-cylinder Continental A65-8 abettor engine, offered bike basement and 710-pound abandoned and 1,220-pound best weights.
The latter, aswell hatched in 1946, shares the above powerplant and 1,250-pound best crop off weight, attaining amidst 85- and 95-mph speeds. The equally-ubiquitous trainer, whose avant-garde over the Piper alms will consistently be debated, accomplishment a breathing tube and tail, lath spars, and aluminum accession ribs, and provides the abecedarian with the basal basics: a chiral choose abecedarian and hand-propping technology.
Another primary trainer, brash for advancing pilots and brash in Canada, is represented by the Fleet 16D (Finch I), complete by Fleet Aircraft Limited in 1940. The rugged, two-place, 2,000-pound biplane, with a 28-foot span, was powered by a five-cylinder, 160-hp Kinner B-5-2 engine and offered a 1,000-fpm arise rate, canoeing at 95 mph and operating at a annual axle of 15,200 feet. It was alive by the Royal Canadian Air Force until 1947.
Another archetypal aircraft represented at the Bayport Aerodrome, but basal even added afield, is the de Havilland Tiger Moth, itself based aloft the avant-garde DH.60 Gipsy Moth.
Designed annular a 350-pound engine, the DH.60 complete bifold seats and controls, a three-hour flight duration, an 80-mph cruise speed, a low accession loading to avant-garde short-field operations, all-around administering characteristics, aliment simplicity, and low accession costs. It was aswell to accredit new grades of plywood, fabric, forgings, and castings.
Registered G-EBKT and ancient aeriform on February 22, 1925, it became the ancient in a alternation of afire airplanes, sparking the de Havilland Company’s own diminutive growth. It was followed by the DH.71 Tiger Moth, the ancient two of which, powered by Cirrus 2 engines, were artificial in aloofness for the 1927 King’s Cup Race.
The DH.82 Tiger Moth arose from the Royal Air Force’s allegation for a primary trainer, but several modifications were stipulated, including the avant-garde repositioning of the top accession and fold-down doors on either accessory of the cockpit to facilitate in-flight pilot bailouts with acclimatized parachute packs; upper- and lower-wing sweepback to avant-garde the centermost of lift; a able structure; and a revised broke system.
First aeriform on October 26, 1931, the DH.82 featured cogwheel aileron control-that is, the ailerons of the accession on the alfresco changeabout offered little deflection, while those of the accession on the axial of it all-embracing to a actually greater angle in acclimation to abate adverse yaw.
The Royal Air Force placed an anterior acclimation for 35 aircraft, appointed Tiger Moth Is, and followed this with 50 DH.82As (Tiger Moth IIs) powered by 130-hp Gipsy Aloft I engines. The DH.82C, a Canadian adjustment powered by a 145-hp Gipsy Aloft IC, replaced the acclimatized tailskid with a alembic and conflicting an amidst cockpit accessed by a sliding covering to admission pilot advocacy from the country’s artlessly algid climate.
The type, bedfast as the training anchor for a lot of of the pilots who had fought in the Battle of Britain, saw annual with the Royal Air Force, as able as with the Commonwealth countries of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and enjoyed a accumulation run of some 7,000 during Apple War II alone.
The all-around biplane adjourned at 40 mph and climbed at 58.
From even added afield is the Russian Yakovlev Yak-18, accomplishment abnormally out-of-place at the belted Affiliated Island grass field, but apery one of its greatest treasures.
Like the Tiger Moth, the Yak-18 “Max,” an advertisement of fighter aircraft artisan Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev, was aswell slated for training purposes. Brash as a UT-2 replacement, the low-wing, single-seat aircraft, powered by a five-cylinder, 160-hp Shvetsov M-11FR ambrosial piston, served as its prototype. It was below than successful.
The succeeding, dual-seat Yak-18A accumulation version, with a metal frame, bolt skins, a 27.5-foot all-embracing length, and 34-foot, 9.5-inch wingspan, conflicting the added powerful, 260-hp, nine-cylinder Ivchenko AI-14R engine aerodynamically covered with an NACA cowling. Ancient aeriform in 1957, it offered a 2,900-pound best gross weight and was able to attain 163-mh speeds and 16,600-foot annual ceilings. It had a 440-mile range.
Equipped with bomb racks, it was alive in Korea, breadth it destroyed a 5.5-million gallon armament dump beside Inchon, and aswell served as the training anchor for Yuri Gagarin, the world’s ancient getting to admission space.
The Yak-18U and afterwards versions conflicting bike undercarriages.
Instrumental in the grass field’s achievement and affiliated purpose is the Bayport Aerodrome Society. Formed in 1972, it “is composed of aerodynamics professionals, recreational pilots, and bodies captivated in absorption aerodynamics history.” One of its major, public-invited challenge is its now-annual Ceremony of Best Transportation, which accomplishment “vintage motorcycles, automobiles, and airplanes,” alternating with abide music, a barbecue, and biplane rides.
Bayport Aerodrome actually offers the aggregation a acceptance to Affiliated Island’s grass acreage roots-literally.