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Evaluation of Multi-Pass Mechanical Harvest on Sweet Cherry

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

Citation:  Paper number  131596308,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Long He, Jianfeng Zhou, Qin Zhang, Manoj Karkee
Keywords:   sweet cherry mechanical harvest multi-pass harvest fruit maturity level fruit removal efficiency harvest-induced fruit cullage

Abstract. To seek an effective mechanical harvest solution for fresh market sweet cherry with high fruit removal efficiency and low fruit damage rate, a study on multi-pass harvest with a short shaking duration in consequent days was conducted in 2011-2012 harvest seasons. Meanwhile, two sets of one-pass harvest, the 1st one-pass and the 2nd one-pass harvests, were performed on the first day and the last day of the multi-pass harvest as the baseline information. The harvested fruit maturity level distribution indicated that the percentage of fruit maturity level of less or equal to 5 was significant higher in the 1st one-pass harvest than the multi-pass harvest, and the percentage of fruit in maturity level 7 was noticeably higher in the 2nd one-pass harvest than other two harvest methods. The multi-pass harvest solution of four consecutive days of 2.5 s shaking revealed a potential on achieving a substantially higher fruit removal efficiency (83.4±10.3%) and noticeably lower harvest-induced fruit cullage (5.0±4.4%) in comparing with two sets of one-pass harvest, as the corresponding fruit removal efficiencies from those one-pass harvest being 66.7±16.2% and 48.0±16.1%; and harvest-induced fruit cullage being 20.1±9.9% and 11.8±6.0%, respectively. Obtained results supported an hypothesis that the multi-pass short-duration shaking offered a high potential to achieve a higher overall harvest efficiency with better harvested fruit quality, and could be a candidate of optimal solution for mechanical harvest of fresh market sweet cherry if it could be proved to be economically competitive to one-pass solutions.

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