- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Some cherry growers, for example, were able to pick only once this year, said Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sacramento County. Ideally, they'd pick as fruit colors and ripens.
"They're finding that if they can't get labor to pick their crops, they're just not able to farm anymore," Ingels said. "So what they're going to is mechanization."
UC Davis agriculture experts, farmers and industry leaders gathered last month in Orland to watch a demonstration of the first mechanical harvest of Manzanilla table olives in California. The new technology could revive the industry, the article said.
Even pear harvesting, a grueling job that requires workers to climb aluminum ladders with heavy bags of fruit, may be ripe for new harvest technology. For apples and pears, there are platforms for workers to stand on that move through the orchard while the workers feed the fruit into flexible tubes, where suction carries the fruit to bins.
"It's definitely on the radar for growers in the industry," Ingels said.