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History of Mechanical Citrus Harvesting
1990 to 2008

Canopy Area Shake Catch Harvest Systems

Mongoose - The FDOC funded development of a canopy area shake catch system by Mongoose Harvesting Company (Arcadia, FL) during the 1997-98 season. The machine had 4 rectangularly shaped shaking heads with plastic probes (See Photo, Video). Fruit was removed when these probes were inserted into the canopy & each head was hydraulically driven in a circular motion to shake the canopy to ~ a 30 inch depth. The 4 heads were not dynamically balanced & were mounted on a boom with which the machine operator could position the heads successively in all areas of the canopy. The machine was developed to shake nonuniform & tall trees which were generally not suitable for other shake catch systems. Harvest rates were ~ 20 to 30 trees/hour & fruit removals ranged up to 90%. Most of the removed fruit was picked up by manual harvesters as well as gleaning the remaining fruit on the tree. General productivity & machine reliability of this system were low & needed to be improved. Approximately 13,000 boxes of oranges were harvested during the 1997-98 season. Machine development continued during the 1998-99 season & GIC Enterprises LLC, Atlantic Beach, FL took over development in the 2000-01 season, but it was later discontinued.

JB Limb Rake - JB Limb Rake (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) started development of a canopy area shake catch system. The approach was similar to the Mongoose except the 4 heads were circular & were dynamically balanced (See Photo). However, the machine failed to develop as a feasible harvest system because of low harvest rates (20 to 30 trees/hour), low productivity, & low machine reliability

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