Citrus Mechanical Harvesting
The IFAS Citrus Mechanical Harvesting website provides all available information
on citrus mechanical harvesting-- a place where growers, harvesting contractors,
processors, and other industry clientele can access the latest research material,
acquire basic information on the existing harvesting systems, and provide a forum
to ask questions regarding mechanical harvesting.
How to Effectively Search the Citrus Mechanical
The Abscission white paper was compiled in 2009 as a part of the registration process
of the abscission agent CMNP with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
This paper discusses the grower’s optimal harvest window, the processor’s optimal
production window, and the implications of maximizing the combined returns of both
growers and processors. Jacob Searcy presented this paper at the 2007 FSHS annual
meeting. (Jacob Searcy, Fritz Roka, and Thomas Spreen)
An abscission agent application with citrus mechanical harvesting should allow the
equipment to operate through the entire late season harvest. This paper, presented
at the 2009 SAEA meetings, describes a cost/benefit analysis of using abscission.
(German Blanco and Fritz Roka)
The Decision Tool was designed to help a grower decide the most profitable method
of harvesting. As mechanical harvesting systems become available, a grower must
determine whether or not a mechanical system is economically viable in his or her
grove. Further, if more than one mechanical system is available, the Decision Tool
will help them determine which system harvests at the lowest cost.
Studies in Progress
Debris Cost Study
There have been some concerns by the citrus processors that the mechanical harvesters
increase the amount of organic debris in the fruit trailers and it is causing them
more breakdowns. To get an idea of what the costs are to the processors, a survey
was conducted in 2009 with 9 processing plants participating.
Mechanical Harvesting System and CMNP Effects on Debris Accumulation in Loads of
Citrus Fruit - Timothy M. Spann, CREC
This report was based on research done by Tim Spann, CREC, to determine the effects
of mechanical harvesting systems on the amount of debris accumulated in a harvested
load of fruit compared to hand harvesting.
In order to create a idea of what the relationship is between the number of boxes
per hour a harvester picks in relations to what is available in an acre of orange
trees, data was collected in the 2007-2008 citrus harvesting season from 4 different
groves in southwest Florida. There were a total of 118 observations that culminated
many days of harvesting early/mid and Valencia orange blocks. A graph below depicts
the information collected and the relationship obtained.
To Glean or Not to Glean, Citrus Industry, May
2010 (Vol. 91, No. 5)
To Glean or
Not to Glean, Citrus MH Field Day, January 2007, Bartow