(Feb. 24, 5:40 p.m.) For years, Sacramento, Calif.-based SureHarvest has offered fresh produce growers the latest technology in management information systems.

Now, because of a recent acquisition of another company, SureHarvest can take that information and put it in the palms of growers’ hands.

SureHarvest recently acquired ScanControl, Pleasanton, Calif., a provider of geographic information systems and integrated field data collection for vineyards. According to SureHarvest, this allows the company to extend the depth of its systems to provide growers — large and small — with a gamut of scaleable information management tools.

“For the grower, what it means is that this combined company has more time to deliver better products,” said Jeff Dlott, chief executive officer at SureHarvest. “(Acquiring ScanControl allows us to market) better handheld technologies and mapping technologies.

“Our ability to respond quickly to grower needs is significantly enhanced.”

What Dlott especially likes about ScanControl is its line of handheld personal digital assistant devices that can be taken right to the source of the workplace — in the fields and vineyards.

SureHarvest’s software systems have allowed growers to plan, schedule and implement workflow for years, giving growers information on how to make decisions such as how much water they want to irrigate fields and what methods to use. It also gave growers an efficient method by which to record that information.

“It puts it all in a place where it can be easily accessed and worked with,” Dlott said.

The addition of ScanControl’s PDA devices makes that the case even more so.

Mapped out

Another feature ScanControl brings with its devices are mapping capabilities.

“You can take a map of a ranch and analyze what labor forces were used in different fields,” said Robin Wood, founder and president of ScanControl. “It just gives you rapid interpretive capabilities. Information is immediately determinant.

“It’s a way for a farmer to account for what he does on a daily basis,” Wood said.

Following the acquisition, six of the top 12 wineries and 22% of the premium wine producing vineyards in the U.S. will be using SureHarvest technologies, according to the company.

The two companies soon will roll into a single organization under the SureHarvest name.

“We’re excited,” Dlott said. “We both had probably our best years last year. This year, it’s so far, so good.”