PlantTape and Stokes Seeds Forge Strategic Partnership to Elevate Grower Experience and Efficiency

PlantTape and Stokes Seeds Forge Strategic Partnership to Elevate Grower Experience and Efficiency

PlantTape, the leading provider of an automated transplanting system and Stokes Seed, a renowned seed company, are excited to announce a dynamic new partnership aimed at delivering exceptional service to their grower customers. In an effort to provide growers with the best possible resources, PlantTape has decided to collaborate with Stokes Seeds, making them the recommended seed supplier for PlantTape customers across the eastern regions of the United States and Canada.

“Cultivating this partnership with Stokes Seeds marks a pivotal moment for PlantTape and underscores our commitment to supporting our East Coast customers at the highest level,” said Dominick Levari, East Coast Sales Manager at PlantTape. “By synergizing our cutting-edge transplanting technology with Stokes Seeds’ exceptional seed offerings, we’re poised to elevate growers’ capabilities and outcomes. This collaboration is a testament to our shared vision of driving innovation and excellence within the industry.”

Under this new partnership, Stokes Seeds and PlantTape will work together to supply growers who utilize PlantTape technology with the highest quality seeds available, ensuring that the advantages of the automated transplanting system are fully leveraged. By strategically warehousing seed at PlantTape’s Livingston, Tennessee operation, customer orders will be processed more efficiently, and seeded tape will be swiftly transported to greenhouses.

To further enhance the customer experience, Stokes Seeds sales representatives will provide growers with PlantTape specifications and available options for PlantTape-certified greenhouses. They will also offer expert recommendations on seed selections that are best suited for sowing using the PlantTape technology.

PlantTape, headquartered in Salinas, California, stands at the forefront of automated transplanting systems, revolutionizing commercial vegetable transplant production through precision agriculture. Their cutting-edge technology is particularly beneficial for grower operations with crops such as tomatoes, hemp, and other row vegetables.

Stokes Seeds, with a rich history dating back to 1881, is a trusted distributor of commercial vegetable seeds. With operations in multiple locations including Holland, Michigan, Buffalo, New York, Vineland, New Jersey, Moultrie, Georgia, LaBelle, Florida, and Thorold, Ontario, Stokes Seeds is well-positioned to serve its customers effectively. Their team of 25 territory managers is dedicated to providing growers with access to the latest seed varieties.

This partnership between PlantTape and Stokes Seed represents a significant step forward in supporting growers and their agricultural endeavors. By combining the expertise of two industry leaders, customers can expect enhanced product offerings, streamlined processes, and outstanding service.

PlantTape Transplants using Stokes Seeds for a lettuce variety
Transplanting multiple commodities: a demo of the versatile PlantTape system

Transplanting multiple commodities: a demo of the versatile PlantTape system

One of the many benefits of the PlantTape automated transplanting system is its versatility in handling a variety of commodity types. For growers that grow multiple commodities, this versatility proves invaluable. PlantTape gives growers the ability to have a single transplanter that can plant almost every commodity in their farming program

The PlantTape multi-crop field demonstration

PlantTape recently did a field demo to showcase the versatile nature of our system. We loaded six different commodities into our transplanter and planted them all simultaneously.

The commodities we chose for the demonstration were: romaine lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, leeks, broccoli, and cilantro.  Prior to planting, each crop was sown at one of the sowing lines in Hollister, California

After 30-45 days in the greenhouse, the seedlings of each of the six commodities were brought to the PlantTape demonstration field near our Salinas, CA headquarters. A PlantTape 3-point transplanter was loaded up with all six commodities, with a line of each commodity corresponding to a planting module for a six-line bed configuration.

As can be seen in our demonstration video, the transplanter planted all six commodities at the same time without a hitch.

Although this is unconventional, the commodities grew well together for 8 weeks until the bed became overcrowded with the different crop types.

Switching between crops with PlantTape

PlantTape’s simultaneous planting of six different commodities was purely a showcase of how crop-agnostic our system is. While a grower will almost certainly not need to plant diverse crops simultaneously, many growers will need to plant different crops consecutively. PlantTape allows them to do so with unprecedented ease.

Changing plant-to-plant (or in-row) spacing.

PlantTape offers growers a way to change the pant to plant spacing with ease via a simple touch screen computer located on the side of the planter. Spacing can even be changed while the planter is running if the operator chooses.


Planting Six Different Crops Simultaneously - PlantTape Automated Transplanting System

Planting Six Different Crops Simultaneously – PlantTape Automated Transplanting System

Planting consecutive commodities with different bed configurations

If two commodities have different bed configurations—for example, onions and broccoli—then a grower will need to make simple some mechanical adjustments to our automated transplanter.

Line-to-line spacing can be altered in the field with standard hand tools in a matter of minutes. Planting lines can be added or removed by raising or lowering planting modules via a valve on the planting module cylinder.

If a crew is planting 6 lines of onions on a 72” bed and needs to switch to 2 lines of broccoli on a 36” bed, they would load the broccoli seedlings into the transplanter, raise up the two middle planting modules to take them out of action, and make any desired line-to-line adjustments. After a short time, they’re back in business, planting two 36” rows of broccoli at a 72” wheelbase.

Unprecedented transplanting flexibility

Compared to other transplanters, which are often manufactured with fixed bed configurations and designed for a specific commodity, the PlantTape automated transplanting system brings unprecedented versatility to growers of vegetables, tomatoes, and hemp.

Commodity-to-commodity versatility is only one of the many ways PlantTape empowers growers. As we showcased last month, the PlantTape system also offers flexibility in when to plant seedlings.

The world’s fastest transplanter

Not only is the PlantTape transplanter versatile, it’s also blazing fast. Recently, we decided to see how fast. We took it to 20mph and it still planted flawlessly. Read about the demo and why we feel confident in our claim of having the world’s fastest transplanter.

About PlantTape

The PlantTape seedling planter is the fastest, most adaptable, and most user-friendly transplanter on the market. It’s only one component of the PlantTape automated transplanting system, which covers sowing, nursery operations, and transplanting. 

To learn more about PlantTape, or to request a field demo, contact or call +1 (888) 272-6828

About PlantTape

About PlantTape

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

Adjusting the PlantTape automated transplanter

“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 agronomy team 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, we also offer 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 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

About PlantTape

 PlantTape is an agtech company based in Salinas, CA with operations around the globe. Whether you’re looking for the most user-friendly vegetable planter, or need a better hemp transplanting solution, the PlantTape automated transplanting system can help you increase crop yield, improve greenhouse throughput, and reduce transplanting labor costs by as much as 80%.

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.


Trays of tomato seedlings rady for transplanting

Tomato seedlings just planted, Northwestern Ohio

Quality Tomato Transplants

Jason Kelly of S.A.L.’s Vegetable Transplants was PlantTape’s nursery partner for the trial (S.A.L.’s was also the nursery partner for our lettuce transplanting case study involving Rothert Farm). 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.

S.A.L’s Vegetable Transplants cultivated tomato seedlings ideal for the PlantTape automated transplanting system

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.

Read next: PlantTape follows up with the Ohio tomato trial, measuring crop yield and other key factors.

About PlantTape

PlantTape represents an entire automated transplanting system.

The entire process, from sowing through greenhouse operations through transplanting, is enabled by our trademark plant tape: a tape that holds seeds, and later seedlings, through the entire cycle.

Growers of vegetables, tomatoes, and hemp have revolutionized their operations with PlantTape’s precision agriculture solutions. Our customers have reduced labor costs by as much as 80%, increased crop yield, and introduced other efficiencies to their operations.


Transplanting seedlings on a flexible schedule: PlantTape gives growers logistical freedom

Transplanting seedlings on a flexible schedule: PlantTape gives growers logistical freedom

One of the many benefits of the PlantTape automated transplanting system is the logistical flexibility it gives growers and greenhouse operators. Specifically, PlantTape seedlings can be planted at any time after the sowing process.

With conventional transplanting, plants and roots must be sufficiently developed to withstand being manually pulled from celled nursery trays. A transplant that is pulled too early can be damaged or destroyed.

Because PlantTape places transplants into the ground with minimal human touch and without disturbing the roots, seedlings can be planted at any time after sowing. Whether the seedling is at the cotyledon stage or with 5 true leaves, the PlantTape planting modules cut the tape between plants and place each into the soil, while the tape material protects and encapsulates the delicate roots. 

Advantages to growers of the PlantTape system

Produce markets and weather conditions are volatile, and PlantTape’s versatility gives growers the ability to adapt planting schedules to navigate unpredictable events.

Potential planting scenarios and the PlantTape advantage

For example, a broccoli grower might have 20-day old seedlings in the greenhouse when she gets notice that two weeks of rain are moving in. With conventional methods, broccoli plants are too young and fragile to be pulled from their trays at 20 days, so the grower has no choice but to plant in the mud after the storm.

With the PlantTape system, in contrast, the grower can adjust her planting schedule to get the broccoli transplants into the ground before the rain arrives. The seedlings get the advantage of all the rain, and the workers won’t be potentially rained out, and don’t have to plant in the mud.

Planttape trays with seedlings at different ages


To use another example, a celery grower has 45-day old seedlings in the greenhouse when he learns that part of his crew is moving on in a week, leaving him short-staffed. (Read how PlantTape reduces transplanting labor requirements by 80%.)

Given the scarcity of skilled agricultural labor, the grower can’t hire more employees in time, and his celery is too young to plant immediately with conventional methods.

Again, PlantTape to the rescue. The grower decides to plant before the workers depart, and PlantTape handles the young celery seedlings just fine.


Six different stages of transplants from 1 week to 6 weeks old

A demonstration with romaine seedlings of different ages

To demonstrate PlantTape’s ability to transplant seedlings at almost any maturation stage, we recently loaded our transplanter with six lines of romaine, each line being a different aged plant, and planted it near Salinas, CA.

On the far left, a line of romaine sown one week prior, with cotyledons barely sprouting. On the far right, a line of romaine at 6 weeks with 4-5 true leaves and three-inch tall plants. In between were lines of romaine at 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks.

As seen in the YouTube video, the PlantTape planting modules had no issue precisely placing each seedling into the soil, regardless of developmental stage.

When we checked in on the 6 lines two weeks (?) after planting, all seedlings were thriving. 

To learn more about PlantTape, or to request a field demo, contact or call +1 (888) 272-6828

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