Mechanization of harvesting, pruning, and other cultural operations on many small fruit crops for the processing market has occurred in response to the scarcity and expense of hand labor. Scientists at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and other experiment stations in the United States and throughout the world have developed new cultural and fruit-handling systems and have determined the effects of these systems on fruit yield and quality. This research has resulted in the development of prototype and commercial machinery as well as production and handling systems that have assisted in mechanization systems for brambles, strawberries (Fragaria×ananassa Duch.), and grapes (Vitis sp.). Much of this body of work is in commercial use and much is simply available, awaiting circumstances that will be beneficial to implementation.
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