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Evaluation of Five Green Chile Cultivars Utilizing Five Different Harvest Mechanisms

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 26(6): 955-964. (doi: 10.13031/2013.35906) @2010
Authors:   P. A. Funk, S. J. Walker
Keywords:   Capsicum annuum, Chilis, Harvest efficiency, Specialty crop mechanization

High cost and unavailability of labor for hand harvest has resulted in domestic green chile production declining even as consumption grows. Mechanization is clearly necessary, but has resisted four decades of research and development. In these trials five picking mechanisms were tested in five cultivars in two fields in New Mexico in 2008. Harvest efficiency was 41% to 88%, with 11% to 48% mechanical damage, for a net collection of marketable fruit that ranged from 26% to 78% of total yield. An inclined counter-rotating double open-helix design with a low relative tip speed and a clear product path had both the highest harvest efficiency and lowest fruit damage.

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