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026 Mechanical Systems Engineering Specialist


Associated Documents


This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



California is the largest producer of specialty crops in the US. Increasingly our speciality crops are becoming no-competivie due to the high cost of manual labor inputs.

A good example is table olives. Currently the hand harvest costs of olives are 50-75% of gross return. The industry has lost 25% of it acreage in the last 2 years due to hand harvest labor costs and availability. California will lose this traditional industry in which is located within the world's largest table olive market, the US. Currently the olive industry is supporting with funding and grower cooperators a strong research effort. The UC needs to meet this cooperation with an applied agricultural engineer Specialist who works on harvest mechanization for olives and other speciality crops.
Posted May 30, 2012 1:02 PM by Louise Ferguson
Harvesting technology will become in an increasingly important issue as we move back from the recession towards increased housing starts and construction. Previous experience has shown that workers prefer to work in the construction business and other related fields rather than working in Agriculture. Improved mechanical harvesting systems will be one of the highest priorities for permenant crop agriculutre in the next 20 and more years. The University will again play a critical role in the development and testing of mechanical harvesting systems. This important role needs to continue within the ANR capabilities.
Posted May 30, 2012 1:39 PM by Ted Batkin
The California pistachio industry relies on mechanical harvesting. The industry began in the mid-70s and the trees planted at that time are reaching a size that is making harvesting problematic while yet maintaining good productivity. Developing harvest machinery in cooperation with private enterprise for older pistachio trees is needed by our industry
Posted Aug 7, 2012 1:23 PM by Bob Klein, California Pistachio Research Board

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