Harvest costs are significant for tree fruit producers and, yet, not well studied. In this paper a prototype system for measuring harvest worker efficiency in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) is presented. This weighing system consists of a digital weighing platform compatible with standard commercial fruit bins and a data logger interfaced to a wireless radio. Weight data were transmitted every 5 s, filtered and stored to a laptop computer (database). System functionality and reliability were evaluated in five orchards in cooperation with three commercial growers. Preliminary tests showed that the system did not interfere with normal harvest activities and that the efficiency of pickers and picking teams varied within and across orchard blocks, (e.g. 0.75 to 2.87 kg/min), depending on their experience and skills (e.g. 1.37 kg/min for skilled workers vs. 0.64 kg/min for unskilled). Further, the mean picking rate of ‘Skeena’ without pedicels (stem-free) was 1.15 kg/min, almost 50 % greater than fruit with stems (mean = 0.75 kg/min) when picked by the same crew and orchard.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 12, 2012
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