TRELLISING TO IMPROVE MANUAL HARVEST EFFICIENCY AND TO ENABLE MECHANICAL HARVEST OF RUBUS FOR FRESH FRUIT MARKETS..

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  • 1 VPI&SU, Southern Piedmont Agricultural Experiment Station, Blackstone, VA 23824

Three different “shift-trellises” were designed to localize the fruiting zone and to separate it-from vegetative structures. This allows efficient manual harvests by making berries more visible and easier to reach. It improves the quality of manual harvest conditions by reducing human contact with thorns (i.e., prickles).

Better definition of the fruiting zone's dimensions and location, important factors in mechanical harvesting, is possible with these systems. One system allows horizontal placement of the fruiting zone as in the Lincoln Canopy System, but with an inverted orientation of the fruiting shoots. Inverted orientation of fruiting shoots will shorten the distance to the mechanical harvester's collector surface. This changed juxtaposition among trellis components, floricanes and fruiting shoots will eliminate most obstacles against which berries might impinge during their fall to the collector surface. A new kind of agitator may be required to effect fruit removal in this system.

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