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Optimizing fruit production efficiencies through mechanization

Code: 9781838798482
Manoj Karkee, Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, Washington State University, USA; Jacqueline Gordón, Washington State Tree Fruit Association, USA; Bernardita Sallato, Washington State University, USA; and Matthew Whiting, Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, Washington State University, USA

Chapter synopsis: Many technological advances in farming have been adopted over the last century transforming various operations. However, some processes in fruit and vegetable production such as tree fruit and berry harvesting have not changed, and crops such as apples, cherries, peaches, blueberries, and strawberries are harvested manually, an operation that is highly labor intensive, demanding a huge seasonal workforce in rural areas around the world. This chapter looks at optimizing fruit production efficiencies through mechanization. Starting with an introductory section on challenges faced in tree fruit harvesting, the chapter goes on to discuss harvest-aid (or labor-assist) machines (or platforms), which as the name suggests, are designed to assist human fruit pickers. Mass and robotic harvesting systems, which on the other hand, are designed to remove the need of manual picking, are also covered, with specific examples included. Fruit conveyance and handling, and mechanical pruning are also discussed.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2018.0040.10
Table of contents 1 Introduction: challenges in tree fruit harvesting 2 Harvest-aid systems 3 Mass harvesting techniques: use of handheld tools 4 Shake-and-catch machines 5 Robotic harvesting 6 Fruit conveyance and handling 7 Mechanical pruning of tree fruit 8 Conclusion: challenges and opportunities for mechanization in fruit harvesting and pruning 9 References

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