Evaluation of different mechanical fruit harvesting systems and oil quality in very large size olive trees

Franco Famiani, Daniela Farinelli, Sara Rollo, Salvatore Camposeo, Claudio Di Vaio, Paolo Inglese

Abstract


In 2006 and 2009, trials were carried out in the Apulia region in Southern Italy to evalu-ate the possibility of mechanizing olive harvesting in groves of old and very large trees. The trees belonged to the cultivars ‘Cellina di Nardò’ and ‘Ogliarola Salentina’. They were 60-100 years old and 7-9 m tall with a canopy volume of 140-360 m3. In the first half of November 2006, with a mechanical beater mounted on a tractor plus hand-held pneumatic combs, the harvesting yield was close to 90% of the total olives present in the canopy, and the harvesting working productivity was around 60 kg of harvested olives h-1 worker-1. With a self-propelled shaker attached to the main branches the harvesting yield was about 73% in ‘Cellina di Nardò’, and 40% in ‘Ogliarola Salentina’, while the harvesting working productivities were around 103 and 85 kg of harvested olives h-1 worker-1, respectively. In the second half of No-vember 2009, in ‘Cellina di Nardò’, with a mechanical beater mounted on a tractor plus nets on the ground or a catching frame (reversed umbrella) mounted on another tractor, the harvesting yield was about 97%. The working productivity was about 98 kg of harvested olives h-1 worker-1 with the mechanical beater plus nets and around 133 kg of harvested olives h-1 worker-1 when the mechanical beater was combined with a reversed umbrella. The oil obtained from the mechanically harvested olives was always of high quality. A basic economic evaluation of the harvesting costs is also reported.

Keywords


Olea europaea L.; mechanical beater; pneumatic combs; branch shaker; harvesting cost

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014124-5794