PROCESSING TOMATO MECHANICAL HARVESTING COST EVALUATION
Processing tomato sector is suffering many changes as it refers to cultivation techniques as in the seeding, transplanting or harvesting. New cultivation costs have appeared due to the present tendency to the total mechanisation. So, these costs reduction is one of the most important objectives to improve the profitability of the processing tomato crop. Harvest mechanisation offers farmers as least three ways to maintain profitability. It has (1) reduced costs per unit; (2) contributed to the ability to expand total production volumes; and (3) provided a more reliable, cost-effective replacement for the diminishing labour pool (Thompson and Blank, 2000). The objectives of the reported research are: to establish the economic aspects that determine the best machinery selection to adapt machines to the crop conditions and to determine which machines were more profitable because had less cost per harvested kilogram. In order to carry out the objectives, five different machines were tested during one harvest time: Sandei-FMC SL 150 T, P. Barigelli & B/RP, Pomac Cosmo/SR, Gallignani Polaris, Guaresi G 8993. Cost evaluation method used was developed by the CEMAG (Belgium) and adapted by Arnal (2002). Each machine work times and quantities tomato lost, during the harvesting, were taken into account. From the obtained data it could be concluded that an increase in the machine work capacity (ha/h) had an immediate positive effect in the reduction of the cost per surface unit (/ha). In addition, the differences observed in the cost per surface (/ha) were compensated for the quantity of tomatoes harvested. Finally, the cost per kilogram of tomato harvested (/kg) was similar in all tested harvester models.
Jarén, C., Arazuri, S., Arana, I. and Arnal, P. (2007). PROCESSING TOMATO MECHANICAL HARVESTING COST EVALUATION. Acta Hortic. 758, 295-298
harvesters, profits, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., machinery selection, tomato losses