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, Brazilian citrus growers were able to deliver frozen concentrated orange juice to the port of Tampa, FL, for only $0.0757 more per pound solids than Florida growers. For these reasons, Florida has been working to develop mechanical harvesting technology

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test different mechanical-harvesting approaches for processing at a reasonable cost with low labor demand. Mechanical harvesting of table olives has been studied since 1975 ( Ferguson et al., 2012 ; Vega Macias et al., 2005 ; Zion et al., 2011

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planted with 70–100 trees/ha. After World War II, rural migration increased production costs, and mechanical harvesting became compulsory. Since then, these plantations have begun to be replaced by high-density mechanically harvested orchards. Rain

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-fold in labor efficiency and a cost reduction of ≈85% when using over-the-row mechanical blueberry harvesters. However, mechanical harvesting causes excessive fruit bruising ( Sargent et al., 2013 ) and harvest losses. Bruising occurs when berries hit

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/or market demands. Mechanical harvesting fresh-market apples has been studied since the 1970s, but it has proven difficult to develop machinery that can efficiently harvest fruit without bruising ( Sarig, 1993 ; Zhang et al., 2016 ). Only recently have

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The research program on fruit crops at the University of Arkansas interrelates the areas of harvest mechanization, pre- and postharvest physiology and processing. This program is designed to serve a highly competitive, growing processing industry. Through cooperative research undertaken by the Departments of Horticultural Food Science and Agricultural Engineering, mechanical harvesters were developed for blackberries (refer HortScience 13:228-235) and strawberries (refer HortScience 13:000-000). Utilizing the principle of fruit abscission, blackberry fruit can be selectively mechanically harvested on a commercial basis at the rate of 1 acre per hour, while product quality is superior to hand-harvested fruit.

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In recent years, the increasing consumption of olive oil has boosted the planting of intensive and superintensive orchard systems to achieve competitive production costs ( Arbonés et al., 2014 ). Continuous mechanical harvesting is a key management

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costs as compared with production in the United States. Red chile production labor costs were reduced to ≈10% ( Eastman et al., 1997 ) when the crop was transitioned to mechanical harvest. If green chile production shifted to mechanical harvest, like red

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its intended use in the fresh or processed market ( Funk et al. 2011 ). However, the red chile crop is predominately mechanically harvested to streamline the process of collecting the dried pods ( Walker and Funk 2014 ). Some dual-purpose cultivars

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Proper variety selection and production practices are critical to obtaining profitable yields of mechanically harvested pickling cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.). On the Delmarva peninsula, the tractor-mounted harvester, which utilizes the pinch-roller system for separating the pickles from the vine, was used exclusively for harvest until 1998. The pull-type forced-balance shaker machines have been introduced as an alternative harvest system. Replicated commercial-size variety trials have been conducted for four consecutive years. The trials are planted twice during the growing season, reflecting the climactic differences associated with early-season and late-season plantings. `Vlaspic' and `Lafayette' are standard varieties. Promising new varieties include `EX 1914' and `SQRP 1882'. Investigations to determine optimum plant populations and row spacing have determined that three-row beds with 60,000 plants per acre provide the highest yields and best quality fruit. Optimal operating speeds and picking reel speeds of 1.4 mph and 45 rpm, respectively, have been determined for the tractor-mounted machine. Additional design improvements have been implemented and evaluated to reduce damage. Fifty-nine replicated commercial tests evaluating the tractor-mounted harvester and the forced-balance shaker type indicate much greater harvest and throughput efficiencies are associated with the forced-balance shaker harvester, resulting in improvements between $65 and $100 per acre.

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