• Spin your weeds away

Spin your weeds away

After years of sitting on a tractor to knock down vineyard weeds with an old grape hoe, only doing about an acre an hour and always causing some vine damage, Dave Kohler finally reached his breaking point. Nearly ten years ago, he’d had enough and was determined to figure [...]

  • Good Stuff

Good Stuff

  • February 1st, 2011

With Come Unglued, there is no need to replace expensive PVC fittings.

Quick PVC pipe fix
Come Unglued is a new tool designed to save time and money when repairing PVC pipes. The tool uses heat to break any PVC cement bond, allowing the user to remove a broken pipe [...]

  • Fruiting walls suit machinery

Fruiting walls suit machinery

  • January 15th, 2011

The Institute of Agriculture at San Michele All’Adige looks for ways that orchardists and vineyardists can farm more efficiently and reduce labor needs. Following an intensive thinning study by the institute, more than 40 mechanical thinners are now in operation in Italian orchards. But their latest focus is ­trying [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Eliminating LADDERS

Eliminating LADDERS

  • December 1st, 2010

Auvil Fruit Company, based in Orondo, Washington, has developed a picking platform with two objectives in mind: to keep costly cull apples out of the ­packing house and to expand the potential labor pool.

For more than 20 years, Auvil has had workers use platforms, rather than ladders, to prune, [...]

  • Revolution for INNOVATION

Revolution for INNOVATION

  • December 1st, 2010

Trellis posts in New York are vibrated in, not pounded, using down pressure from a loader and a vibrating cam.

Growers in western New York are convinced they need to mechanize their fruit operations and improve labor efficiency if they are to flourish in the future, and they’re moving rapidly [...]

  • Farming THE SUN

Farming THE SUN

  • December 1st, 2010

Sol Orchard installed this one-megawatt solar panel project for California’s Victor Valley College.

Imagine a crop without worries of labor, pests, rain during harvest, and rising fertilizer costs. In the near future, there’s potential for such a crop, and it’s one that most growers could produce with little impact on [...]

  • Destiny Ridge Vineyard puts the wind to work

Destiny Ridge Vineyard puts the wind to work

  • December 1st, 2010

Jarrod Boyle, winemaker at Alexandria Nicole Cellars and managing partner of Destiny Ridge Vineyards, likes the looks of the new turbines.

The vertical wind turbines look more like artwork than they do wind machines, Jarrod Boyle says of the renewable energy project installed at Destiny Ridge Vineyards/Alexandria Nicole Cellars.

Since September, [...]

  • Bin hauler becomes orchard platform

Bin hauler becomes orchard platform

  • 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.

A machinery manufacturer came to Lamont Fruit Farm three seasons ago, wanting to ­demonstrate a five-bin pickup system to see how the machine, developed as a harvest [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Electric vehicle has power

Electric vehicle has power

  • December 1st, 2010

Karen Lewis and Gwen Hoheisel (standing) demonstrate how an electric utility vehicle can be used for herbicide spraying with the WeedSeeker technology.

Karen Lewis and Gwen Hoheisel, Washington State University Extension educators, say an electric all-terrain vehicle that they’re evaluating has met or exceeded all their expectations in research plots.

The [...]

Nurseries need a tree counter

  • December 1st, 2010

Robotics scientists at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania set out to develop a device to automatically measure the caliper of nursery trees in the field, but found that a simple tree counter would be more useful for the tree fruit industry.

Dr. Sanjiv Singh and colleagues began to develop the [...]