PlantTape’s approach to customer service

PlantTape’s approach to customer service

Adjusting PlantTape automated transplanter

From the beginning, PlantTape has prioritized customer service. When our growers face challenges, we make it a priority to help them.

“I’ve been impressed with knowledge brought to the table by the PlantTape team, they always know what to do over the phone. Really appreciate the customer support. Anytime we have a question there is always an immediate response.” Bryan Knepper, operations manager, Rothert Farms, Okeechobee, Florida

When growers contact us for support, their issue typically falls into one of two categories: agronomy-related, or equipment-related.

Agronomic customer support

The PlantTape system is designed to integrate into existing growing operations with a minimum of disruption. PlantTape does, however, introduce specific tolerances, and growers sometimes have questions.

For example, an onion grower might wonder about the timing of mowing onions with the PlantTape system, or a greenhouse operator might have a question about recommended railing systems. Growers might want to ask about recommended fertilizer programs, or any number of other agricultural queries.

PlantTape’s Vice President of Agriculture and Sales, Hunter Smith, has a PhD in Agronomy and Weed Science from the University of Florida and is available to respond to all agronomy-related questions, and to help growers thrive with the PlantTape system. In addition to helping customers navigate specific challenges, Dr. Smith also offers advice, tips, and tricks for maximizing agricultural output with the system.

Equipment-related customer support

PlantTape’s mechanical design makes it one of the most user-friendly automated transplanters on the market. To help our customers minimize disruption and frustration, PlantTape’s customer service representatives and engineers are available 24/7 to respond to any issues that arise.

Whether a grower needs advice on rebuilding their planting modules at the end of the season or is having a bit of trouble changing line-to-line spacing, the PlantTape team is a video call away to keep our customers operational.

Setting the standard for agricultural customer service

PlantTape 3-point automated transplanter in the field

PlantTape 3-point automated

transplanter in the field

PlantTape believes that concierge customer service is the only way to do business. When our growers thrive, we thrive. That’s why we are passionate about our growers’ success and immediately respond to any questions or concerns they may have.

To learn more about PlantTape or to request a demo of our automated transplanting system, visit our contact page, or call (888) 272-6828

Planting tomatoes in the Ohio heat

Planting tomatoes in the Ohio heat

PlantTape conducts a successful tomato planting trial in Ohio

On May 20, 2021, PlantTape conducted a tomato transplanting trial in Northwest Ohio. Planting in the heat, and with no irrigation, PlantTape successfully planted 3 acres of tomato seedlings, using sub-surface water injection to the plant roots.

Tomato seedlings just planted, Northwestern Ohio
Trays of tomato seedlings ready for transplanting

Quality Tomato Transplants

Jason Kelly of S.A.L.’s Vegetable Transplants was PlantTape’s nursery partner for the trial. He grew a uniform, hardened-off tomato plant perfect for Ohio’s hot conditions and also for the PlantTape automated transplanting system, which favors a shorter, stockier tomato seedling.

Planting tomatoes with underground water injection

For the transplanting trial, a hydraulic pump injected water below-ground from two tractor-mounted tanks. A hose attached to a nipple on the hollow planting shoe allowed for water to be delivered directly to each seedling’s roots.
Using 400 gallons to the acre, the water was injected directly to each plant’s root zone, creating a good seal and minimizing evaporation. The transplants were able to establish quickly and start growing.
In the five days immediately after the planting, temperatures remained high and the plants received no additional water. No wilting was observed, and all plants remained vibrant. On the sixth day, it rained.

The PlantTape system proven for no-irrigation tomato transplanting

Considering that much of the American Midwest does not utilize irrigation in tomato agriculture, PlantTape needed to demonstrate planting viability for no-irrigation tomato growing operations. Our May tomato trial did just that, showing that tomato seedlings remain hardy for several days post-planting due to our delivery of water to the seedling root zone.

Previous PlantTape tomato trials in California had already proven the viability of the PlantTape system for tomato agriculture with irrigation; now, its viability for planting tomatoes in the absence of irrigation has been demonstrated.
S.A.L’s Vegetable Transplants cultivated tomato seedlings ideal for the PlantTape automated transplanting system
PlantTape Announces Key Leadership Promotions

PlantTape Announces Key Leadership Promotions

Lance Portman takes on role as President of PlantTape and Hunter Smith promoted to Vice President of Agriculture & Sales

Lance Portman is the new President of PlantTape

Lance Portman is the new President of PlantTape

SALINAS, Ca. (June 22, 2021) –   PlantTape®, an automated transplanting system, announced today the promotion of Lance Portman to President and Hunter Smith to Vice President of Agriculture & Sales.  The two key promotions will provide the innovative company with ample support for continued growth within the United States and globally.

“Both Lance and Hunter joined our PlantTape team at a pivotal time of growth and have been there every step of the way during PlantTape’s commercialization,” said Brian Antle, prior President of PlantTape.  “Their combined knowledge, leadership skills and in depth understanding of the agriculture industry as well as PlantTape system, will continue to take this innovative company far into the future.”

Brian Antle previously served as PlantTape's President

Brian Antle previously served as PlantTape’s President

Portman joined the forward thinking PlantTape team in 2018 as Vice President of Engineering.  Prior to joining PlantTape, he held several leadership positions that spanned across the United States, Canada, Indonesia, and Singapore.  Portman held numerous roles during his 14-year tenure at BJ Services Company, which included Technical Advisor and Director of Research & Engineering Coiled Tubing.  He additionally served as Vice President of Coiled Tubing & Cementing at Baker Hughes Incorporated and Vice President of Marketing at Cormorant Engineering LLC.  In his new role as President of PlantTape, Portman will oversee all operations and drive the company’s success in transforming the automated transplanting for vegetable, tomato, hemp and other crops.

“PlantTape is a fantastic, labor and money saving technology that is yet to reach its full potential across all applications. I am honored for the chance to take on this key leadership role within PlantTape, and the opportunity to make this the most successful and accepted transplanting system globally,” said Portman.  “I look forward to forming new partnerships with growers, and pledge to continue to give our existing customers the best service possible.”

Hunter Smith has been promoted to VP of Agriculture and Sales

Hunter Smith has been promoted to VP of Agriculture and Sales

Hunter Smith, Ph.D., joined PlantTape in 2018 as the company’s Director of Agronomy.  Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University and attended graduate school at the University of Florida.  He completed his doctorate program in Agronomy there in 2016.  Prior to his current role at PlantTape, Smith performed field research, developed pesticide programs, and optimized growing practices for Generation Farms in Southeast Georgia.  In his new role as Vice President of Agriculture & Sales, Smith will continue to oversee the agronomic studies of PlantTape while taking on the management of the company’s sales team.

“With significant labor shortages on the farm, automation is taking over the agricultural industry.  PlantTape is leading the automation revolution and I’m excited to continue working for such an innovative company,” said Smith.  “We’ve made great progress over the last few years and I look forward to PlantTape becoming the dominant transplanting technology around the world.”

About PlantTape

PlantTape is an automated transplanting system

PlantTape is an automated transplanting system

PlantTape is an automated transplanting system that is ideal for agricultural producers aiming for increased efficiency and productivity. The system is more efficient than the conventional transplanting method and offers a fully integrated system from sowing the tape, to germination and nursery care, to transplanting in the field. PlantTape is commercially used to transplant vegetables, tomatoes, hemp and other crops.

A PlantTape automated transplanter in the field

A PlantTape automated transplanter in the field