PlantTape automated transplanting system

PlantTape improves agriculture with farming automation
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This romaine plant shows the healthy root architecture that the #PlantTape system enables. The remnants of the PlantTape material can still be seen around the top of the root. Typically, the tape is visible through harvest but is completely biodegradable. #agtech #transplanter

PlantTape tomatoes from our May trial in Ohio, where we proved our automated transplanting system in 90°F weather. In the absence of rain or irrigation, 400 gal/acre was injected directly to the roots at planting to help the plants establish in the Ohio soil.

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Tomato transplants off and running in Ohio.

PlantTape proved its automated transplanting system for Midwest farming conditions with a tomato trial planted in May. While injecting 400 gallons/acre of water directly to the roots, PlantTape successfully established tomato transplants without the he...

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Watch the video about our latest field demonstration, where we plant six lines of romaine lettuce, with each line being a different-sized plant. We did this to demonstrate the flexibility that PlantTape gives to growers to plant their seedlings at any time after the sowing process.

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PlantTape recently did a field demo to showcase the versatility of our automated transplanting system to handle seedlings at any growth stage. On the far left, romaine at 1 week with cotyledons barely sprouting. On the far right, romaine at 6 weeks with 4-5 true leaves.

With the PlantTape system...

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PlantTape is precision agriculture.

What is PlantTape?

PlantTape is the world’s most advanced, efficient, and flexible process for the sowing, germination, and transplanting of crops. 

PlantTape is precision agriculture.

PlantTape delivers logistical flexibility, precision, and efficiency to growers. 

PlantTape is a sowing and transplanting system.  

We're not just in the business of selling farm equipment: we're providing something much better.  

While we do manufacture our own agricultural equipment, we integrate that equipment into the the larger PlantTape process. 

The entire PlantTape process is built around our namesake innovation: a fabric or "tape" that holds seeds and seedlings. The tape facilitates automated sowing, efficient nursery operations, and automated transplanting.      

PlantTape's plant tape 

PlantTape's proprietary plant tape is the heart of our entire system. Everything else, from our transplanter to our bins to our facilities, supports the remarkable efficiencies that our tape makes possible. 

PlantTape—the tape itself—is a blend of peat, coco, and vermiculite between two layers of biodegradable paper. Sounds simple enough, but this humble innovation is driving an agricultural revolution. 

Because of our tape, PlantTape offers growers a seamless, end-to-end agricultural solution for the entire process from sowing to transplanting in the field. 

The tape enables the process 

PlantTape receives and holds the grower's seeds during sowing operations. In the nursery, it enables timed germination and lets seedlings grow with correct root architecture. And, it allows our automated transplanter to deliver each transplant into the ground with unprecedented precision and control on the part of the grower.    

The 3-part PlantTape process 

SOWING 

The PlantTape process begins in one of our sowing centers. After seeds are dry-sown into our proprietary tape, the sown tape is palletized and shipped to the grower's nursery of choice.

NURSERY 

The seeds germinate inside the tape when introduced to water. PlantTape's denser plant spacing (840 plants per tray!) and shorter growing cycles make for high-yield nursery operations. 

TRANSPLANT 

PlantTape's blazing-fast (2-7 acres per hour!) 3-point transplanter unspools the tape from the nursery trays, cutting each transplant loose and placing it into the ground.

Sowing operations 

Once a customer's seed is received to a PlantTape sowing facility, it is inventoried and stored in a secure, climate-controlled room until sowing. 

Seeds are sown into PlantTape material, after which the material is cut into strips (i.e, "tape"), folded, and loaded into trays of 840 seeds each. 

The sown PlantTape is palletized, wrapped and labeled for immediate delivery to a commercial nursery or farming operation. 

PlantTape gives logistical freedom

Because PlantTape sows seeds into a completely dry tape environment, growers can delay germination to account for unforeseen circumstances.

PlantTape sowing facilities

  • Hollister, California
  • Livingston, Tennessee
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Boston, United Kingdom    

Nursery Operations 

Nurseries initiate germination via standard irrigation methods. 

PlantTape trays hold 840 plants—2-3 times more than conventional transplanting systems. With a denser seedling population, PlantTape maximizes nursery space and improves transportation efficiencies. 

Flexible planting schedule 

PlantTape transplants can be planted at any stage of growth. Such flexibility in the planting schedule allows growers to mitigate the impact of adverse weather and other uncontrollable circumstances.

Because PlantTape seedlings can be planted younger than conventional transplants, nurseries have shorter growing cycles and higher throughput. 

A competitive nursery advantage 

More plants per square foot plus shorter growing cycles: PlantTape represents a significant competitive advantage for commercial nursery operations. 

By implementing the PlantTape system, a plant nursery can significantly increase production without the capital costs of additional greenhouse space.

  • Capacity: ~1 million plants per 5,000 ft 2
  • Speed: 0-30 days per growing cycle
  • Efficiency: 840 plants per tray
  • Easy conversion for most nurseries

Transplanting 

From the nursery, trays of PlantTape transplants are loaded into bins and shipped to the field. 

At 840 plants per tray and 108 trays per bin, a PlantTape bin contains around 90,000 transplants. 

Transplants are loaded into PlantTape's automated transplanter, which can carry 68 trays at a time (or around 57,000 plants). 

The transplanter unspools the PlantTape from the trays and places each transplant into the ground according to precise settings for line spacing, plant spacing, and depth. 

The adaptable transplanter 

PlantTape provides the benefits of automated transplanting without the drawbacks of other automated systems. 

Other automated transplanters are factory-fixed for a specific wheelbase or bed configuration. 

PlantTape's 3-point planter can be adjusted in the field for almost any bed configuration. 

Its wheelbase is adjustable from 60"-84" with simple tools, and it can plant anywhere from 1-8 lines of plants.

  • Capacity : 2-7 acres per hour
  • Efficiency : 2-3 employees per machine
  • Easily adjustable to fit most bed configurations

PlantTape delivers precision agriculture

The new generation of agtech

Agricultural technology, or agtech, has revolutionized agriculture over the past century. PlantTape is part of the newest wave of agtech companies bringing exciting innovations to empower growers. 

"Precision agriculture" is a hot topic in the agtech world, and for good reason. With shrinking profit margins and expanding challenges, growers can't afford slippage in their operations.

PlantTape competitive advantages

PlantTape delivers unprecedented efficiencies in sowing, nursery, and transplanting operations. With the PlantTape automated transplanting system, growers can:

  • enjoy logistical flexibility by scheduling seed germination to meet their timeline
  • navigate weather issues with the freedom to plant seedlings at any stage of development
  • have healthier seedlings (minimal transplanting stress plus a natural root architecture)
  • cut labor costs associated with planting
  • have a single transplanter for multiple crops and bed configurations

The PlantTape 3-point planter is the most advanced, user-friendly transplanter on the market today. It's just one component of an entire process that includes dry-sowing, delayed or timed germination, high-yield nursery operations, and blazing fast transplanting of seedlings.

Driven by our plant tape and supported by world-class equipment and automation, PlantTape delivers the benefits of precision agriculture to mid-size and large growers in the United States and around the world.    

Whether you're transplanting lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, hemp, or any other crop, the PlantTape automated transplanting system is revolutionizing the way transplanting is done.


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1 Harris Road
Salinas, CA 93908
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