Night shift: Harvesting apples at night

A shift from ladders to illuminated platforms allows pickers to work day or night.

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  • Plethora of platforms

Plethora of platforms

  • January 15th, 2011

Above, left: Called the Trifrut, this three-wheeled, hydraulic transmission tractor has a low profile for orchard canopies and a low center of gravity. Made by FACMA of Italy.

Published January 15, 2011

Self-propelled elevating orchard platforms designed for slopes, harvesting ­platforms with boxes that mechanically empty into bins, platforms run by [...]

  • Tart cherry of French heritage

Tart cherry of French heritage

  • January 15th, 2011

Montmorency tart cherries are bright red with yellowish flesh and clear juice. They ripen just after the early sweet cherry varieties, or about mid-July in Traverse City, Michigan. Montmorency cherries are borne on trees that seem bush-like but are 15 to 20 feet tall.

Published January 15, 2011
For a [...]

  • Firm seeks approval for transgenic apple

Firm seeks approval for transgenic apple

  • January 15th, 2011

The Arctic Golden was developed with the fresh-cut market in mind.

Published January 15, 2011
Last April, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc., sent a package containing hundreds of pages of data and documents to the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health ­Inspection Service in Washington, D.C.

According to Neal [...]

Advocate for breeding program

  • January 1st, 2011

John Carter is known for his relentless dedication to goals.

Oregon grower John Carter has been involved in cherry industry trade groups and activities. But the one thing that stands out when talking to people about Carter is his passion for research, and, in particular, a Pacific ­Northwest cherry breeding [...]

Passion for research

  • January 1st, 2011

Cherries, with their sensitivity to rain at harvest time and market swings, are one of the riskiest and most volatile of tree fruit crops. John Carter may have lacked farming experience—especially with cherries—when he moved his family from southern California to Oregon 35 years ago, but he and wife, [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • January 1st, 2011

Richared, one of the first red strains of Delicious, was such an exciting discovery that a box full was sent to U.S. President Herbert Hoover.

Red Delicious is a persistent apple. It started out 140 years ago as an unwanted seedling in an Iowa orchard and became the most widely [...]

  • Tree IVs?

Tree IVs?

  • December 1st, 2010

This injector was tested with apple trees.

Might the airblast sprayer in the future be replaced by IV tubes jabbed in fruit trees?

Michigan State University entomologist Dr. John Wise decided to see if he could control apple insects by injecting insecticides into the tree trunk—much as landscapers now do with [...]

  • Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

  • December 1st, 2010

Critical components of the DBR harvester are the vacuum tubes (green ones carry apples), the decelerator wheels (circular steel), and the elephant-ear fruit distributor (fan-like device above apples). Here, a full bin is being lowered to the ground during a demonstration at Mike Rasch’s orchard in August.

The vacuum system [...]

  • Platform transforms orchard work

Platform transforms orchard work

  • December 1st, 2010

Tom DeMarree bought this Blosi platform and uses it for many tasks, including installing trellis wire.

Workers crimp stabilizer wires onto trellis wires. The stabilizer wires eliminate the need for additional stakes
or posts.
Two years ago, the Lake Ontario Fruit Program, with a Northeast Risk Management grant and funds [...]

More cherries in the pipeline

  • December 1st, 2010

New, late-maturing cherry varieties developed in British Columbia, Canada, have helped keep the province’s cherry growers in ­business.

“At one stage, the cherry industry was dwindling away until these late varieties were introduced,” recalled Dr. Frank Kappel, cherry breeder at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland.

The Summerland program continues [...]

  • KC Bailey Farms taps wind and sun for power

KC Bailey Farms taps wind and sun for power

  • December 1st, 2010

This shiny new roof is covered with 110 photovoltiac solar panels that will provide 25-kilowatt power capacity for the cold storage behind it.

Chip and Karla Bailey saw the potential for generating renewable energy on their farm already in 2001, but it took a while to get there.

After years of [...]

  • Mechanical thinner for green peaches

Mechanical thinner for green peaches

  • December 1st, 2010

The Bin Bandit hauls bins during the harvest season, and a platform sits on it for use in thinning, pruning, and tree training.

Todd Furber jumped on an idea when he saw a prototype fruit harvester at a field day in Pennsylvania, and, adding some ingenuity, he turned it into [...]