During the past five years, mechanized growing and harvesting of certain fruit and vegetable crops made tremendous gains. Within the next five years several additional crops will probably be mechanized. The degree of mechanization varies with the area and with the crop. Factors such as climate, varieties, cultural practices, machine development, labor supply and whether the crop is grown for fresh market or processing, all have influenced the present status of mechanization.
Two presowing seed treatments—pregermination and osmoconditioning—were examined for their effects on emergence, seedling growth rate, and yield of ‘UC 82’ tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum mill.). Seeds presoaked in a −5 bar solution of polyethylene glycol-6000 for 7 days prior to planting and fluid-drilled pregerminated seeds had significantly faster emergence rates than the control. There was no treatment effect on total yield, but fluid-drilled seeds which had been presoaked in the osmoticum maintained a developmental advantage over controls throughout the growing season and had a significantly higher percentage of breaker-red fruit at harvest.