Mechanical harvesting of processed apricots

Journal ar
Applied Engineering in Agriculture
  • Volumen: 22
  • Número: 4
  • Fecha: 01 July 2006
  • Páginas: 499-506
  • ISSN: 08838542
  • Source Type: Journal
  • Document Type: Article
Hand harvesting apricots is a time-consuming task, accounting for more than 60% of the total labor time of the crop in Spain. Moreover, the harvesting period is very short, around two weeks. This research aims to reduce costs by evaluating five mechanical harvesting systems on three different types of plantations. To detach the fruits, manual, tractor-hitched, and tractor-towed shakers were used in a range of 13.7 to 22.5 Hz that produced, at the branch level, peak accelerations of 51 to 590 M/S2. All detachable fruits fell in less than 2.4 s. Harvesting costs were reduced from 0.107 euro/kg for hand harvesting to 0.006 to 0.039 euro/kg for the mechanical systems, and the harvest rate per operator increased from 56 kg/h or hand harvesting to 448 to 7680 kg/h for the mechanical systems. The quality of mechanically harvested fruits was acceptable for processing. This study also demonstrated that selective harvesting of apricots according to maturity is difficult with vibratory systems. © 2006 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

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