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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #269749

Title: Rubber finger stripper harvester for green chile

item Funk, Paul
item WALKER, STEPHANIE - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2011
Publication Date: 8/10/2011
Citation: Funk, P.A., Walker, S.J. 2011. Rubber finger stripper harvester for green chile. ASABE Annual International Meeting. August 7-11, 2011, Louisville, KY. Paper No. 1111099.

Interpretive Summary: The manuscript is an interim progress report documenting initial trials with a novel harvest mechanism. This work contributes to an interdisciplinary collaboration addressing required modifications throughout the fresh market and canned chile production and processing system as harvest becomes mechanized.

Technical Abstract: Harvest mechanization as a system requires modifying or creating new components including cultivars, production practices, and harvest, transportation and processing plant machinery. New Mexican chile is one of the last segments of the pepper industry to still rely on hand labor. This paper reports on an experimental field harvester for succulent NM chile. Rubber fingers on a variable speed chain drive strip fruit from the plant and convey it to field cleaning sections of an existing pepper harvester. Field trials in 2010 showed moderate damage (12% of total yield) but harvest efficiency (56% of total plot yield) still leaves room for improvement. Part of that improvement may be realized through cultural practices that minimize branching and improve resistance to uprooting.