Mass Harvesters :: Pick Up Machines
Annual Progress Report:
- 2006-2007 (PDF; 684kb)
- The objective of this work is to evaluate a ground fruit pick up system developed by Oxbo International Corp. The evaluation will be based on the performance of picking up the desired fruit and its efficiency for removing undesirable fruit and trash under different ranges of forward speed, orange variety, and grove conditions.
- To evaluate the external microbial load of ground fruit picked up by this machine.
Research/other support for an Oxbo pick-up machine
Various mechanical harvesters and pick-up machines have been developed since 1970. The tractor drawn trailed canopy shaker detaches and allows the fruit to fall on the ground. Trunk shakers and blowers are also used to detach the fruit. These harvesters are used in old, non-uniform trees with or without skirting. The fruit is then picked up by a hand-crew or pick-up machines. Due to a large volume of fruit on the ground, a pick-up machine is preferred for the job. Its importance was also felt when large numbers of fruits dropped on the ground from trees by hurricanes.
Some of the rake and pick-up machines were developed in 1970-80. These machines can pick up more than 400 lb/min with approximately 92% picking efficiency. The Department of Citrus in Florida has developed a rake and pick-up system which was acquired by CREC, UF/IFAS. The pick-up machine was tested recently and performed well. The challenges faced by above mentioned systems are the width (to 20 ft) and size which restricts them to operate in modern groves. Moreover 2 to 3 persons are required to operate the system.
OXBO International Corp. (Oxbo), Clear Lake, Wisc., has developed a citrus fruit pick-up machine and is under the testing phase. It is a self propelled rake, pick-up and cleaning system with a suitable size to operate in modern groves. The company and engineers from CREC are studying its operational details and will soon be ready for field evaluation by CREC. Evaluation of these machines in actual field conditions for a prolonged period would ensure confidence in the growers to adapt these machines as it involves a great amount of initial investment.
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