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Steven A. Sargent, Adrian D. Berry, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and James W. Olmstead

Rabbiteye blueberries ( Vaccinium virgatum ) are more resistant to mechanical harvesting and have been MH for fresh market for many years. Mainland et al. (1975) studied the quality of HH highbush blueberry ( Vaccinium corymbosum ) cultivars

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U. Hartmond, J.D. Whitney, J.K. Burns, and W.J. Kender

Two field studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of metsulfuron-methyl and 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMN-pyrazole) on abscission of `Valencia' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] during the 3-month harvest season. Solutions of metsulfuron-methyl at 0.5, 1, and 2 mg·L-1 active ingredient (a.i.) were applied at 10-day intervals beginning on 13 Feb. and ending 18 May 1998. Early in the harvest season, 1 or 2 mg·L-1 metsulfuron-methyl significantly reduced fruit detachment force (FDF) 14 days after application. Metsulfuron-methyl was less effective during a 4- to 6-week period following bloom (“less-responsive period”). After this period, metsulfuron-methyl regained the ability to loosen fruit. Applications of 2 mg·L-1 a.i. were more effective than 1 mg·L-1 in reducing FDF and causing leaf drop, but 0.5 mg·L-1 a.i. had little or no effect on FDF. Flowers and leaflets on developing shoots and young fruit completely abscised with 1 and 2 mg·L-1 a.i. Defoliation and twig dieback was extensive at all concentrations and spray dates, eliminating metsulfuron-methyl as a commercially viable abscission agent for citrus. In a separate experiment CMN-pyrazole at 50 and 100 mg·L-1 a.i. and metsulfuronmethyl at 0.5 mg·L-1 a.i. were applied to `Valencia' trees to determine fruit removal with a trunk shake and catch harvesting system. Application of both abscission materials before and after the “less-responsive period” resulted in a 10% to 12% increase in fruit removal when compared to control trees. Less than a 35% reduction in FDF was sufficient to significantly increase fruit removal. Only 100 mg·L-1 a.i. CMN-pyrazole significantly increased fruit removal when applied during the “less-responsive period.” Chemical names used: Methyl-2-(((((4-Methoxy-6-Methyl-1,3,5-Triazin-2-yl)-Amino)Carbonyl) Amino)Sulfonyl)Benzene (Metsulfuron-methyl); 5-Chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1-H-pyrazole (CMN-pyrazole).

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Doyle A. Smittle and William R. Miller


Fruits of rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei Read cvs. Climax and Woodard) harvested by hand in 1984 and machine in 1985 were stored in air, 100% N2, and in 10%, 15%, or 20% CO2 with 5% O2. Storage of either blueberry cultivars in high-CO2 atmospheres resulted in greater percentages of marketable and firm fruit, and better sensory ratings, than did storage in air. Fruit of ‘Climax’ lost less weight, were firmer, and developed less decay after 21 or 42 days of storage than ‘Woodard’ fruit. Fruit quality characteristics of hand-harvested ‘Climax’ stored for 42 days and machine-harvested ‘Climax’ stored for 21 days in 20% CO2 with 5% O2 were similar to those of freshly harvested fruit.

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James W. Olmstead, Hilda Patricia Rodríguez Armenta, and Paul M. Lyrene

such as ethephon and methyl jasmonate have been tested with varying results to reduce fruit detachment force as an aid for mechanical harvest ( Malladi et al., 2012 ). An abscission zone between the fruit and pedicel resulting in a small, dry stem scar

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Tripti Vashisth and Anish Malladi

detachment are not well understood. Enhancing our knowledge of the process of fruit detachment can greatly aid in developing methods to increase the efficiency of mechanical harvesting, which can in turn reduce the costs associated with blueberry production

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S.D. Rooks, J.R. Ballington, and C.M. Mainland

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Bruce D. Lampinen, Vasu Udompetaikul, Gregory T. Browne, Samuel G. Metcalf, William L. Stewart, Loreto Contador, Claudia Negrón, and Shrini K. Upadhyaya

). However, the area covered by the hand light bar is small. Since both almonds and walnuts are mechanically harvested, it is difficult to cover large enough areas with the hand light bar to coincide with areas harvested. Therefore, the areas covered with the

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Mark K. Ehlenfeldt and James J. Polashock

, primarily attributable to its long pedicels. This trait may be of considerable value for mechanical harvesting if it can be incorporated into commercial blueberries. Fruit is medium blue and ovate. A main difference between V. cylindraceum and V

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R. Karina Gallardo, Qi Zhang, Michael Dossett, James J. Polashock, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Nicholi Vorsa, Patrick P. Edger, Hamid Ashrafi, Ebrahiem Babiker, Chad E. Finn, and Massimo Iorizzo

contribute to increase profitability by increasing price premiums and reducing labor costs needed to harvest the fruit. Implementing mechanical harvesting for the fresh market is crucial to the long-term sustainability of the blueberry industry in times when

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Catarina Saude, Mary Ruth McDonald, and Sean Westerveld

). Losses are associated with reduction of the leaf photosynthetic area and weakening of the petioles induced by the leaf blight pathogens. Infected and weakened petioles often break during mechanical harvest, leaving the root in the ground ( Langenberg