51st World Ag Expo kicks off Tuesday

World's first self driving orchard sprayer to make its big debut

Tulare, Calif. - The 51st World Ag Expo starts Tuesday.

On the eve of the three day event, hundreds of vendors were preparing for opening day.

"This year we have 1,480 exhibits, which takes up 2,100 spaces," said Tom Finn, chairman.

An exhibit sure to attract a lot of attention is the world's first completely driver-less orchard sprayer.

"With the push of a button they start driving themselves autonomously. They have pre-planned routes already in the software and the computer drives the machine," said Gary Thompson, marketing director.

The company that created the machine is called GUSS, which stands for Global Unmanned Spray System. They are a local company from Kingsburg.

Thompson said the driver-less orchard sprayer has a 600 gallon spray tank.

"It is powered by a diesel engine, it's a 173 horsepower 6.7 liter engine," said Thompson.

Thompson said one person can monitor up to 10 them at a time.

GUSS is one of hundreds of different vendors who will be displaying the best the ag industry has to offer in 2018.

In 2017, 105,780 people from 43 different states and 70 different countries went to the expo, Finn said the 50th anniversary was a success and expects the same success this year.

Finn said they had to add 20 acres of extra parking space just to keep up with the demand.

The busiest day of the expo is Wednesday.

"And don't forget everyone it's Valentine's Day," said Finn. "What else would you have better to do than to come to the expo," said Finn.

Gates open Tuesday at 9 a.m., tickets are $15.00.

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