MECHANICAL HARVESTING OF APRICOTS (´BÚLIDA´) IN SPAIN
Hand harvesting of apricots is the most time-consuming task in apricot cultivation under Spanish conditions, accounting for more than 60% of the total labour time. As a way to reduce the cost of this operation, four mechanical harvesting systems have been tested: a hand-carried canvas structure, to catch the fruits, and a hand-held petrol vibrator; a tractor lift-mounted trunk shaker with an inverted umbrella; a tractor-trailed trunk shaker with an inverted umbrella; and a continuous-travel, shake-and-catch harvesting machine. All the systems improved the harvesting operation, from 56 kg/h-worker of hand harvesting to 360 kg/h-worker of the hand-held shaker, to 6000 kg/h-worker of the continuous harvester. With respect to damage, the canvas and manual shaker systems produce less damage than manual harvesting; all the other mechanical systems damage the fruits more than manual harvesting, but the quality of the fruits is good enough for processing.
Martin, B., Torregrosa, A., Ortiz, C., Bernad, J.J. and Aragon, R. (2006). MECHANICAL HARVESTING OF APRICOTS (´BÚLIDA´) IN SPAIN. Acta Hortic. 717, 303-306
mechanical harvest, trunk shaker, branch shaker, continuous harvester, field capacity