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Mark A. Bennett, David M. Francis, and Elaine M. Grassbaugh

Ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid) has been widely used under field conditions as a growth regulator to trigger the ripening of processing tomatoes prior to mechanical harvesting. Recent interest in whole-peeled and diced tomato products has raised questions about ethephon rates, and possible split applications for top quality. This 3-year field study tested two commercial cultivars of processing tomatoes (`OH8245' and `P696') and the effect of various ethephon applications on fruit firmness, color uniformity, and peeling variables. Transplants were established in mid to late May of 1996–1998 on raised beds in single rows at the OSU/OARDC Veg. Crops Branch in Fremont, Ohio. Ethrel applications for each cultivar were: 0, 0.58, 0.58 × 2 applications, 1.17, 1.17 × 2 applications, 1.75, 2.34, 4.68, and 7.02 L·ha–1. Fruit were tested for firmness, color uniformity, pH, titratable acids, and soluble solids. Samples from ethephon treatments of 0, 1.17 × 2 applications, 2.34, 4.68, and 7.02 L·ha–1 were peeled and canned for color inspection and firmness after 18 months storage. Three-year data for red fruit yield showed a typical response to increasing amounts (0 to 7.0 L·ha–1) of applied ethephon. While high rates (4.7 or 7.0 L·ha–1) gave some of the highest red fruit yields, and the greatest percent red fruit values, high rates were also linked with among the lowest fruit solids values. Split application comparisons showed little influence on quality variables examined in this study. However, chroma values were improved (more vivid color) when 2.3 L·ha–1 was applied vs. 1.17 L·ha–1 applied twice. Split applications also tended to produce softer fruit. Our results suggest that single ethephon applications of 1.17 to 2.34 L·ha–1 provide optimal fruit ripening and quality under midwestern U.S. conditions.

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Richard L. Fery, Blair Buckley, and Dyremple B. Marsh

Home gardeners and farmers in the southern United States have traditionally grown southernpeas to produce both fresh-shell peas and immature, fresh pods, or snaps. American growers do not presently have access to a single variety that is ideally suited for both uses. In 1988, a plant breeding effort was initiated to incorporate genes conditioning superior yield and seed characteristics of Asian “vegetable cowpeas” into American snap-type southernpeas. This effort resulted in the development of `WhipperSnapper', which is suited for use as a dual-purpose variety that can be used to produce both snaps and fresh-shell peas. Typical ready-to-harvest `WhipperSnapper' snaps are green colored, 6.4 mm in diameter, 7.6 mm in height, and 24 cm long. Typical mature-green pods suitable for fresh-shell harvest exhibit an attractive yellow color, are 25 cm long, and contain 14 peas. Fresh peas are cream-colored, kidney-shaped, and weigh 24.5 g per 100 peas. Dry pods exhibit a light straw color, and the dry peas have a smooth seedcoat. The total `WhipperSnapper' yield of snaps can be as much as 62% greater than the total snap yield of the snap-type variety `Bettersnap'; pea yield can be as much as 69% greater. The quality of `WhipperSnapper' seed is excellent and much superior to that of `Bettersnap'. `WhipperSnapper' can be used by home gardeners and market gardeners to produce abundant quantities of snaps and fresh-shell peas during seasons too hot for successful culture of such table legumes as snap beans. `WhipperSnapper' also has the potential for use as a mechanically harvested source of snaps for use by food processors in mixed packs of peas and snaps.

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W. Letchamo and A. Gosselin

Camomile (Chamomilla recutita Rauschert) is an annual plant from the Asteraceae. Camomile is one of the most frequently used medicinal plants, and has a commanding place in the world market. The flower heads are used in pharmaceutical preparations, and the cosmetic and beverage industries. The extracts from camomile flowers, to mention some, are known to have the most-effective sedative (3.29× compared to papaverin), antidepressive, tumor -protective, antiinflammatory, and accelerative properties in the regeneration of skin tissues. It is considered a panecia, due to its strong effects among many others, in the treatment of gastric ulcers, stomatology, respiratory complications, nephritis and nephrolithiasis (dilution of the kidney stones), and urinary bladder stones (cystolithiasis). Recently, successful research programs have been carried out to develop new camomile varieties with higher flower yield and better content of the active substances, suitable for mechanical harvesting under conventional cultivation. Apart from growing consumer demand for organically grown herbal products, the use of some herbicides and insecticides has resulted in the shifts of the content of active substances. The yield stability, content, and composition of the active substances under organic cultivation, particularly in areas with extreme climatic conditions, such as northern North America, should be investigated. We identified and introduced new camomile varieties and studied their suitability for organic field cultivation in Quebec, Canada. We studied over-wintering ability, yield potentials, and the content and composition of essential oil, flavonoids, and coumarins under field conditions. The physiology of the new varieties, particularly the relationship between photosynthesis and yield formation, and the accumulation of the active substances under different cultivation conditions remain to be studied.

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Silvia G. Mauri, H.C. Bittenbender, Kent D. Fleming, and Loren D. Gautz

Marketable coffee (Coffea arabica) yield and cost of production under two systems of mechanized pruning—hedging and stumping— were investigated. Data were collected from 1997 to 2001—a single pruning cycle—on three cultivars on three farms on Kauai, Maui, and Molokai. Treatments were variations of hedging and stumping, including time of pruning, methods of re-growth control, and tree in-row spacing were applied to each coffee cultivar. Economic evaluation was based on a partial budget analysis of the actual costs per year of the different pruning systems used on each farm. Mechanical pruning costs per acre for best hedging and stumping treatments across cultivars were 90% and 83% less, respectively, than the current practice of manual pruning. Response to pruning system varied according to coffee cultivar, tree in-row spacing and farm location. The tall cultivar Mokka had higher yields when hedged at 5 ft (1.5 m) tall and 5 ft wide, and the semi-dwarf cultivar Yellow Catuai had higher yields when stumped at 2 ft (0.6 m) tall. Hedge pruning should be done early in the year, January to February, for the semi-dwarfs, `Yellow Catuai' and `Red Catuai', but can be delayed until May for `Mokka'. Annual topping in the hedging systems should be done January to May for `Yellow Catuai' but maybe delayed until May for `Mokka' and `Red Catuai' without yield loss. The economic evaluation revealed that the cost of stumping was higher than hedging. For `Yellow Catuai' on Kauai the economic evaluation indicated that although the cost of stumping was higher, the accompanying higher yields resulted in a higher gross margin for this system. When stumping, verti- cal branches can be set with a contact herbicide spray to avoid higher hand pruning costs without lowering yields. Stumps should be narrowed after stumping if spaced, 2.5 ft (0.75 m) the current standard in-row spacing for mechanical harvesting. Wide in-row spacing (5 ft) should be considered by growers when planting or re-planting.

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Yi-Lun Liao, Wen-Shin Lin, and Shu-Yun Chen

of focus in breeding programs, for example, greater grain yield, larger grains, stronger lodging resistance, effective pest and disease resistance, and easier for mechanical harvest ( Tseng and Chen, 2007 ; Tseng et al., 2009 ; Tseng and Kao, 1995

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Anish Malladi, Tripti Vashisth, and Lisa Klima Johnson

labor-intensive and expensive part of blueberry production. To decrease the costs associated with manual harvesting and to address issues with decreasing labor availability, there has been a renewed interest in exploring the use of mechanical harvesting

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Surveyed about Mechanized Harvest Gallardo et al. (p. 10) surveyed blueberry producers from seven U.S. states and one Canadian province regarding mechanical harvesting for fresh market blueberry. Thirty-three percent of producers reported they have tried

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straight species in feeding trials and a common garden experiment. They found no consistent reduction in the value of varieties to insects in any trait except when green leaves had been selected for red or purple pigmentation. Mechanical Harvest and

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media. Results suggest better awareness of and/or adherence to standards is needed by the retail potting media industry to improve product quality and consistency. ABSCISSION AGENTS IMPROVE CAPACITY OF SWEET ORANGE MECHANICAL HARVESTING Mechanically

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Travis Robert Alexander, Carolyn F. Ross, Emily A. Walsh, and Carol A. Miles

) have demonstrated the efficacy of mechanically harvesting ‘Brown Snout’ specialty cider apples with an over-the-row shake-and-catch small fruit harvester in terms of fruit yield and juice quality characteristics (i.e., the raw materials). Mechanical