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A PORTABLE DEVICE FOR THE SELECTIVE HARVESTING OF COFFEE BERRIES

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

Citation:  Paper number  031142,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13746) @2003
Authors:   César Augusto Ramirez Gomez, Carlos Eugenio Oliveros Tascón
Keywords:   Coffee harvesting, mechanical harvesting, coffee harvesting cost, coffee

In manual harvesting of coffee, the pickers hold the ripe coffee fruits with the index finger and thumb and tilt them down to break the peduncle. Thus, they use less force than doing it at pure tension (lees than 20% according to Cenicaf). Applying this natural principle of fruit detachment, a portable prototype that weighs less than 1 kg was developed. The device apply torsion and bending moments to the larger fruits in the clusters by using foamed-rubber pinions in three steel shafts, one of them counter-rotating. The device was coupled to a back-mounted grasscutter working at speeds between 600 and 1,000 rpm. The best results were harvesting of 84.58% of ripe fruits, 9.41% of immature fruits, and a yield of 37.69 kg/h. Plastic meshes were placed on the ground to catch the detached fruits. The mean time used to install the meshes was 0.36 min per tree. Although this is a promising result, new tests are needed to reduce this time. This device could increase the yield up to 100%, allowing coffee growers with farms up to 3 ha to supply their own harvesting needs.

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