Hardware Solutions for Tree Fruit

Hardware Solutions for Tree Fruit

Hardware Solutions for Tree Fruit. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Qin Zhang, with WSU Prosser asked a big question at the recent Hort convention in Wenatchee. Why do we need hardware solutions for tree fruit?

ZHANG: And our ancestors a hundred years ago, what do they do? They do everything similar to what we’re doing today, everything by hand. And actually even today in some part of the world they’re still doing that way. About 30 years ago I was in China working the farm in the high season we would work like 18 hours a day, seven days a week just to try to finish the job.

While that works well, there are great limits and to increase production you would need to greatly increase your labor costs. Zhang says that mechanization is the answer.

ZHANG: Today in the United States we have a 2% farming population feeds more than 100% of the population and actually we do export a lot of agriculture product to the other part of the world.

He says that up to this point mechanization was limited to field work.

ZHANG: There are a lot of difficulties to implement mechanization in the horticulture industry. Because of specialty crop we need special productions and it have very wide differences in operations. I visit apple farms, cherry farms and hop farms and so forth and I find out the operations are so different so if we develop just one machine it will probably not work.

More on Monday.

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

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