Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2005
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Citation: Peterson, D.L. 2005. Harvest aid for narrow-inclined trellised canopies. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 2005 American Society of Agricultural Engineers ISSN 0883-8542. Vol. 21(5): 803-806.
Interpretive Summary: Hand harvesting fruit is labor intensive and the supply of dependable, skilled labor is a concern of the fruit industry. An experimental harvest aid concept was developed for narrow trellis canopies that showed potential for increasing worker productivity and removing culls in the orchard. Refinements in some of the fruit handling components will be required before the concept will be acceptable for commercialization.
Technical Abstract: A mechanical harvest aid was developed for narrow inclined trellises that allowed pickers free movement in order to optimize their picking time. The harvest aid featured auto-steer, continuous "creep" ground speed, a fruit sorting section, and automated bin filling. Field tests demonstrated the potential to improve worker productivity up to 19%, and effectively remove culls in the orchard. Fruit damage was unacceptable and will require refinements in the bin filler.