Citrus mechanical harvesting has the potential to alleviate two economic challenges currently faced by the Florida citrus industry:
- Mechanical systems have the potential to increase harvest labor productivity 10-fold over manual harvesters, thereby reducing the risks from labor shortages;
- Mechanical systems have the potential to significantly reduce unit harvest costs, thereby improve the competitive position of Florida citrus growers.
Goals of these economic studies are to:
- Provide growers and harvesting contractors with cost information, performance statistics, and decision-aid tools to guide them in their adoption of mechanical harvesting systems;
- Identify and evaluate impediments to adoption and new technology that may reduce harvesting costs.