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Mechanical Harvesting of Processed Peaches

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 24(6): 723-729. (doi: 10.13031/2013.25364) @2008
Authors:   A. Torregrosa , B. Martín, J. García Brunton, J. J. Bernad
Keywords:   Mechanical harvest, Peaches, Processed peaches, Catch frames

Peach harvesting for processing is done by hand in Spain, but it is expensive. Mechanical harvesting is one way to reduce costs, but to be fully accepted it is necessary to obtain a product of similar quality to that of hand harvesting. The purpose of this research was to design, construct, and test catching systems to pick the peaches detached from the trees by shaking with hand-held shakers. The experiments were carried out on a crop of peaches cv. Caterina. Three catching systems were tested: A) a pair of canvases, B) a catching trailer with extendable flat planes, and C) a pair of canvases with direct discharge to boxes. Fruit detachment percentage with the hand-held shakers ranged between 83% and 95%. Less than 2.4% of the fruits were severely injuried. Harvesting rates per operator increased from 100 kg/h with hand harvesting to nearly 200 kg/h with systems A and B and to more than 300 kg/h with system C. System C was also tested to harvest fresh market peaches cv. Tardivel, but 13% of the fruits were damaged to some extent (severe and slight) and this was not acceptable for the producers.

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