MECHANICAL HARVESTING OF STRAWBERRY FOR THE PROCESSING INDUSTRY
By growing strawberry on the solid bed system the yield was essentially higher than in traditional row culture. In the solid bed culture the fruit ripens more uniformly and the machine harvest is easier and more effective.
In a trial with ten selections harvested by machine two were selected and named 'Mimek' and 'Primek'. These two varieties are much alike but 'Primek' is about one week earlier in ripening than 'Mimek'. Generally in the harvested product there is 70–80 per cent mature fruit without the calyx. The yield was 12–14 tons/ha of fruit over 19 mm in diameter.
The harvest is a once-over harvest and must be completed within a 3–4 day period for a given field. Machine harvest of one ha is calculated to about 10 hours. The capacity of the machine is 1500–2000 kg per hour. After harvesting there is the problem of quality sorting.