FIELD EVALUATION OF TWO CANOPY SHAKE SYSTEMS FOR MECHANICAL HARVESTING ON CITRUS ORCHARDS IN ANDALUSIA (SPAIN)
The Spanish citrus production is threatened by the globalization of the market and the cheaper labor costs in other countries, especially production for the citrus juice industry in which manual harvest represents about 50% of the final production costs. Mechanical harvest can reduce these costs and increase profits. However, adoption of mechanical harvesting requires an important effort in the selection and adaptation of the existing equipment, as well as in planting design. In 2009, several field experiments using two continuous canopy shake systems, OXBO 3210 and OXBO 3220, were conducted in conventional non specifically adapted citrus orchards to evaluate the effect of harvester amplitude (CPMs) and harvester speed on fruit removal efficiency, tree damage and fruit quality. Results suggested that adaptation of current citrus plantations (continuous hedgerows with high canopy and bottom canopy pruned at 1 m above ground) together with an appropriate calibration of the machinery, could provide enough fruit removal efficiency without causing important damage to the tree or affect the physical integrity of the fruits for processing. Mechanical harvesting had no effect on internal fruit quality.
Francisco J. Arenas-Arenas, , Sergio Castro-García, , Gregorio L. Blanco-Roldan, , Arturo Salguero, , Áurea Hervalejo, , Carlos Merino, and Jesús A. Gil-Ribes, (2015). FIELD EVALUATION OF TWO CANOPY SHAKE SYSTEMS FOR MECHANICAL HARVESTING ON CITRUS ORCHARDS IN ANDALUSIA (SPAIN). Acta Hortic. 1065, 1853-1859
mechanical harvester, fruit quality, fruit detachment