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Isaac Zipori, Arnon Dag, Yizhar Tugendhaft and Reuven Birger

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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Timothy M. Spann and Michelle D. Danyluk

, 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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Luis Rallo

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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Bruno Casamali, Jeffrey G. Williamson, Alisson P. Kovaleski, Steven A. Sargent and Rebecca L. Darnell

labor supplies affect a large number of specialty crops, and are becoming a major issue in blueberry production ( Zhang and Wilhelm, 2011 ). To decrease harvesting costs in blueberry production, mechanical harvesters have been developed, tested, and

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Louise Ferguson and Sergio Castro Garcia

). The only realistic solution is to develop economically feasible mechanical harvesting. Mechanical harvesting has three components. The first is a harvesting technology able to remove and catch the fruit without economic damage to the crop or tree. The

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Long He, Jianfeng Zhou, Qin Zhang and Manoj Karkee

scattered sparsely in tree canopies, manual harvesting is highly labor intensive and costly. As the availability of skilled labor is declining and the cost of labor is rising, researchers and growers have been seeking mechanical solutions for sweet cherry

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Israel S. Joukhadar, Stephanie J. Walker and Paul A. Funk

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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Robert C. Ebel, Jacqueline K. Burns, Kelly T. Morgan and Fritz Roka

Of the 193,000 ha of sweet oranges [ Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] grown commercially for juice in Florida ( Anonymous, 2008 ), 12,153 ha or ≈7% are mechanically harvested ( Florida Department of Citrus, 2008 ). The most common mechanical

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Josep Rufat, Agustí J. Romero-Aroca, Amadeu Arbonés, Josep M. Villar, Juan F. Hermoso and Miquel Pascual

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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Ed Kee, Tracy Wootten, James Adkins and James Glancey

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.