Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Mechanization has been prevailing in row crops over the past decades, and now gradually in some fruit crops, with integration of innovative computers, robotics, mechanics, and precision orchard management. This talk will give an overview of challenges facing commercial fruit industries and needs of new orchard systems for mechanization. Many fruit industries in recent years are encountering some tough headwinds: uncertainty and cost of labors, rampancy of destructive diseases, frequent occurrence of unfavorable weathers, competition of imports and other fruit commodities, marginalized profits, etc. These challenges impose a great impact on farming from multiple facets. The trend of changes includes much larger orchards, higher planting densities, simpler plant architecture, more precise management, and more mechanization. In other words, fruit tree crops are towards being planted, managed, and mechanized, to some extent, like row crops. In this context, horticulturists, engineers, and breeders are striving to sustain tree fruit industries and ensure orchard operation with up-to-date horticultural knowledge, optimized management, innovative automation, and desired cultivars and rootstocks.