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Long He, Jianfeng Zhou, Qin Zhang, and Manoj Karkee

harvesting sweet cherries dates back to the 1960s. Norton et al. (1962) used a hydraulic trunk shaker to harvest sweet cherries, and found that the harvesting methods removed 80–90% of the fruit. Markwardt et al. (1964) performed tests using a limb shaker

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Timothy M. Spann and Michelle D. Danyluk

Basinger orchard were ≈60 ha. Each block was considered a replication, and at least 15 fruit/debris subsamples (described subsequently) were collected from within each block. Three blocks were sampled for each harvest method and variety. Because the

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Isaac Zipori, Arnon Dag, Yizhar Tugendhaft, and Reuven Birger

of fruit removed by harvest method out of total yield) of different harvesting treatments. The relations between fruit removal force and harvest efficiency are presented in Figure 1 . Each point represents the average harvest efficiency of five

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Sergio Castro-Garcia, Uriel A. Rosa, Christopher J. Gliever, David Smith, Jacqueline K. Burns, William H. Krueger, Louise Ferguson, and Kitren Glozer

nature of the product, quality of the fresh fruit is the most important factor in developing mechanical harvesting in olives destined for table consumption ( Ferguson, 2006 ). Mechanical harvesting methods for olives destined for oil have been developed

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Travis Robert Alexander, Jaqueline King, Edward Scheenstra, and Carol A. Miles

16-ft between-row and 4-ft in-row spacing, and were trained to a three-wire trellis system with the lowest wire 2 ft above the soil surface to accommodate the mechanical harvester’s catch plate. Harvest method (hand and machine) was randomized with

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Matthew W. Fidelibus, Kimberley A. Cathline, and Jacqueline K. Burns

hand-harvesting method and can reduce production cost ( Vasquez et al., 2007 ). However, the harvest machines, which were designed for juice and wine grapes, can cause sufficient mechanical damage to grapes to render them unsuitable for raisin

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Mario Mandujano, F.G. Dennis Jr., D.E. Guyer, E. Timm, and G.K. Brown

Michigan growers often have severe problems with soft `Montmorency' sour cherries. Causal factors may include weather conditions, orchard practices, harvesting methods, and conditions during hold of fruits prior to processing. In this study, efforts were concentrated on orchard practices, including shading to reduce solar radiation, irrigation, nutrient level, and application of growth regulators, especially ethephon and gibberellin. Fruit firmness decreased as maturity approached, then stabilized. Significant fruit softening occurred only during mechanical harvesting. No treatments, including sprays of calcium and potassium, consistently increased firmness, but firmness was reduced in 1993 by spraying with ethephon. Firmness varied among orchards, but no “soft” fruit, as defined by industry standards, were observed in harvested fruit. Softening appeared to be caused by excessive bruising, and was always associated with mechanical damage. Advanced maturity and heavy cropping appear to predispose the cherries to greater bruise damage.

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Henry M. Munger

Fruits and vegetables are being recommended more strongly than ever for improving human health, but, in some parts of the world, supplies are inadequate and, even when supplies are abundant, some segments of the population eat far less then recommended amounts. This divergence suggests that careful analysis and multiple approaches are needed to maximize the benefits of horticultural crops to human health. Information about the specific health benefits of certain crops and the value of diversity in the diet to get benefits not yet understood may stimulate increased usage. An attractive, appetizing, and economical supply seems essential, and may require efforts ranging from breeding for resistance, flavor, appearance, and holdability, through production and harvesting methods, to postharvest handling and processing.

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D. Scott NeSmith, Stanley E. Prussia, and Gerard Krewer

Experiments were conducted during 1999 at the Univ. of Georgia Research Farm near Alapaha with the rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) cultivar Brightwell to determine how various harvesting and handling tactics influenced firmness. The research was facilitated by availability of a mechanical harvester and a commercial packing line. Firmness was determined with a FirmTech II firmness tester on fruit samples before and after cold storage. Fruit harvesting methods included machine harvesting in bulk, hand harvesting in bulk, and hand harvesting directly into clam shell containers. Assessment of precooling effects were made by comparing firmness of fruit that were placed immediately over ice after harvest to fruit that remained at ambient temperatures for 24 hours after harvest. Additional measurements were made to discern the effects of grading and sorting on fruit firmness. The data overall indicated that `Brightwell' fruit firmness was “acceptable” regardless of the harvesting and handling methods experienced. However, there were considerable firmness losses caused by the various procedures. The greatest loss in fruit firmness (20% to 25%) was caused by machine harvesting. This was followed by a 15% to 18% loss of firmness due to grading and sorting. Immediate cooling of fruit after harvest resulted in only a 8% to 12% increase in firmness as compared to keeping fruit at ambient temperature for 24 hours. These findings should be useful to growers and packers in targeting segments of their operations that can be manipulated to improve berry firmness and quality for fresh market sales.

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D.H. Picha

A course entitled “Plantation, Beverage, and Tropical Nut Crops” was developed in order to expand the content and diversity of the horticulture curriculum at Louisiana State University. The course was designed for both upper division undergraduates and graduate students in the plant sciences. The course was intended to broaden the exposure of both domestic and international students to the world's most important plantation, beverage, and tropical nut crops. These crops are generally not commercially grown in the United States, but include some of the world's most economically significant commodities. The selected crops are typically not covered in existing horticulture or agronomy classes. Details of the individual crop cultural practices, harvesting methods, postharvest care, agro-processing, and international marketing are provided. The instructional materials were formatted for delivery via compressed video and transmitted to off-campus sites to afford the opportunity of long-distance learning to nontraditional students. The course was successful in attracting nonhorticulture students and facilitated interdisciplinary interaction among students from diverse curricula.