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Mechanical Harvesting of Lemons (cv. Fino) in Spain Using Abscission Agents
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Transactions of the ASABE. 53(3): 703-708. @2010
Authors: A. Torregrosa, I. Porras, B. Martín
Keywords: Abscission agent, Ethephon, Lemons, Mechanical harvest, Monopotassium phosphate, Shaker
Lemon harvesting in Spain is done only by hand, which accounts for more than 50% of production costs. Over a four-season period (2005-2006 to 2008-2009), mechanical harvesting tests, using hand-held and trunk shakers, were conducted with lemons (cv. Fino) in Murcia, Spain. In addition, ethephon and monopotassium phosphate (PO4H2K) were applied in an attempt to reduce the fruit detachment force and to increase detachment. The effects of these two chemical agents on the detachment force were not significant, and they did not improve detachment. The overall detachment was 77% with the trunk shaker and 66% with the hand-held shaker. No important damage was observed in the trees. Defoliation was noticeable only when the shaking time exceeded 5 s and the frequency was high. Further, the use of ethephon increased defoliation. Lemons caught with an elevated canvas did not develop skin spots or other signs of damage.