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Increasing Harvest Efficiency

“Intensive fruit production offers both economic and horticultural benefits and must be adopted in order for the Pennsylvania tree fruit industry to thrive in a challenging landscape.” —Paul Heinemann
Paul Heinemann. Photo Penn State College of Engineering

Paul Heinemann. Photo Penn State College of Engineering

Research Leads

James Schupp
Associate Professor of Pomology, Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center

Paul Heinemann
Professor and Department Head, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Tara Baugher
Tree Fruit Educator, Penn State Extension

Jude Liu
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and
Biological Engineering

Product

“Harvest Assist” incorporates a combination of machinery and human energy to more efficiently pick apples.

Why it's Important

  • Traditional cultural practices, including harvest, pruning, thinning, and training methods, utilize abundant labor resources to be profitable; yet, affordable farm labor is in short supply.
  • “Harvest Assist” enables quicker entry into new market opportunities, lower production costs per unit, and a quicker return on investment

Status

  • Currently adapting “Harvest Assist” to a new platform designed to be more suitable to eastern U.S. orchards
  • Provisional Patent (62/190,303)

Technology Development Awards

  • $45,184 - RAIN Grant (2014)