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Harvest Management Information System for Specialty Crops

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

Citation:  Paper number  131596473,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Yiannis G. Ampatzidis, Li Tan, Ronald Haley, Riley Wortman, Matthew D. Whiting
Keywords:   labor management cloud-based software RFID embedded systems arduino.

Abstract. Herein we present a Harvest Management Information System (HMIS) that combines a novel real-time Labor Monitoring System (LMS) with a cloud-based harvest management software. The LMS consists of: (i) a digital weighing system; (ii) a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader; (iii) a GPS; and (iv) a computational unit. It reads each picker’s ID (RFID bracelet), measures the weight of fruit, and records the time and location of every fruit drop as pickers empty their buckets directly into bins. The collected data can be transmitted wirelessly to the server in real-time. The cloud-based software receives and processes the LMS data on labor activities, visualizes the collected data, and can extract the data necessary for management information and automated filling of documents (e.g. payroll, yield maps). The HMIS can be used as a management tool (decision support system) to help growers, orchard managers, and packing house managers by providing real-time access to harvest data (e.g. trace the picking crews in the field, know the number of collected bins from each orchard) that will facilitate informed decisions and harvest planning. In addition, this system can be used to improve accuracy of payroll by reimbursing pickers precisely for the weight of harvested fruit rather than the current system of piece-rate. In 2012 this integrated system was evaluated in sweet cherry and apple orchards in Washington. The weight of harvested fruit, time and location of every fruit drop were calculated accurately; all the data were transmitted wirelessly to the server and no errors were recorded.

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