More On Labor

More On Labor

More On Labor. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Jim Schupp, Associate Professor of Pomology at Penn State - Biglerville says they are having some of the same labor issues as we are here in the northwest and they have been working to come up with ways to help increase efficiency, both short term and long term.

SCHUPP: First of all to develop an orchard blueprint or blue prints that we thought would work for our industry to access the use of mobile platforms for increasing labor efficiency and to manage cropload mechanically. We also have some long term goals incorporating sensor technologies both with our thinner and hopefully, ultimately with some sort of harvest technology.

Schupp says that an important method for orchardists to use is the planar canopy.

SCHUPP: This could be in the form of a V or Y type trellis or it could be a vertical tree wall but I think this is what we need to move to increasingly is these narrow systems. And in the case of apples in addition to planar canopy’s we also need to move towards orchard intensification which is tree size control.

He says that these kinds of systems along with orchard intensification will ultimately make labor more efficient.

SCHUPP: I think as we go along we’ll see increasing sophistication in tree training all designed to make the target more visible, more predictable and more accessible.

Schupp also adds that work with platforms has seen significant increases in productivity not only in Pennsylvania but also here in the northwest.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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