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Harvesting citrus: challenges and perspectives in an automated world

Code: 9781786765307
Marcos David Ferreira, Embrapa Instrumentação, Brazil

Chapter synopsis: Harvesting oranges has been a challenge for all countries that grow and export juice or fresh fruit. Despite the many advances in agriculture and technology, the majority of harvesting is still performed manually. This crop is formed on trees of high canopy, subjecting pickers to risks and physical effort. Furthermore, growers face labour seasonality and shortage, along with an annual increase in harvesting costs; hence, alternatives are needed in order to increase the feasibility of harvesting. Currently, harvesting can be achieved mechanically, with the aid of unit equipment and robotics, being the last one more in an experimental level. One point to be considered is tree modification, as a short canopy could facilitate harvesting, and possibilities for improvement exist. All the technology, current research and economic pressure, might enable the feasible mechanical, commercial automation of harvesting; however, planning will be fundamental in order to prepare orchards, growers and also work possibilities for pickers that will have jobs excluded.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2019.0054.04
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Manual harvesting 3 Harvesting aids 4 Mechanical harvesting 5 Robotic harvesting 6 Precision agriculture to estimate citrus yield 7 Future trends 8 Conclusion 9 Where to look for further information 10 References
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