Mechanical Harvesting and Dehulling of Six Strawberry Cultivars after Four Hand-pickings

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  • 1 Agriculture Canada Research Station, 430 Boulevard Gouin, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. J3B 3E6, Canada, and Department of Plant Science, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que. H9X 3V9, Canada
  • | 2 Agriculture Canada Research Station, 430 Boulevard Gouin, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. J3B 3E6, Canada
  • | 3 Department of Plant Science, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que. H9X 3V9, Canada

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the mechanical harvesting and processing suitability of four standard strawberry [Fragaria ×ananassa (Duch.)] cultivars (`Kent', `Glooscap', `Bounty', and `Midway') and the recent introductions `Chambly' and `Oka'. `Kent', `Glooscap', `Oka', and `Chambly' had the highest yields and heaviest fruit. Similar percentages of berries of all cultivars were destroyed by the harvester. `Oka' and `Midway' were not suitable for this type of mechanical harvesting due to their susceptibility to bruising during harvest. Based on total marketable fruit harvested mechanically, `Chambly' was the most and `Oka' was the least adapted cultivars for this particular harvester. `Chambly' and `Glooscap' were easiest to decap, followed by `Bounty', `Oka', and `Midway'. None of the cultivars tested were suited ideally for machine harvesting, and further breeding is required to produce well-adapted cultivars.

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