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Processor Issues :: Trailer Debris Study


When a grove is harvested there is some debris that is picked up with the fruit. This debris can be considered organic or inorganic. Organic trash is considered leaves, twigs, and sand and inorganic would be considered cans, bottles, food, etc. With the introduction of mechanical harvesting there has been an issue with the processors of the increase of the amount of debris that is being delivered in the trailer to the processing plant. The purpose of this research is to determine the effects of mechanical harvesting systems on the amount of debris accumulated in a harvested load of fruit compared to hand harvesting.


  • Determine the total quantity of debris (primarily stems and leaves) that accumulates in a standard load of harvested fruit for each different mechanical harvesting system and hand harvesting.
  • Characterize the debris accumulated to determine what proportion is leaves, small diameter stems and large diameter stems to aid in the development of debris removal systems.
  • Determine if abscission compound CMNP can reduce the amount of debris accumulated by different harvest methods.
  • Estimate the changes in debris delivered to processing plants as part of MH systems. If MH systems, deliver more debris, estimate the added costs to processing operations.

Key Findings

  • N/A

Activities Planned for 2008-2009

  • Continue collection and analysis of data on debris content being delivered to bulk trailers by harvesting system.

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Fritz Roka
Tim Spann

Visits since 05/21/2014