Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 27, 2010
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
Citation: Funk, P.A., Marshall, D.E. 2010. PEPPER HARVESTER DEVELOPMENT. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 2010 Annual International Meeting. June 20-24, 2010, Pittsburgh, PA. Paper No. 1008746. Interpretive Summary: The conference proceedings manuscript (also being published as a book chapter) serves as an overview of technology past and present used to harvest various peppers. Interest in mechanization continues to increase with rising labor costs and decreasing labor availability. Producers and processors recognize that without mechanization, this important specialty crop will no longer be grown in the United States. Summarizing the present state of the art facilitates efforts to advance mechanizations efforts both within ARS and by others.
Technical Abstract: Peppers (Capsicum spp.) include a diverse collection of cultivars produced for a wide variety of end uses. This specialty crop and its processing industry are in the midst of a transition driven by labor cost and unavailability. Production and post-harvest processing is either converting to mechanization or experiencing relocation. Nearly sixty references are cited covering forty-five years of research and development that have resulted in mechanical harvest technology that works with select cultivars. The steps involved in mechanical harvest include dividing the crop, removing peppers, catching and conveying them, cleaning and transporting the fruit, and in some cases destemming it. Seven manufacturers currently offering harvesters are listed with their contact information.