Mechanical Harvesting of California Pistachios
University of California
Mechanical Harvesting of California Pistachios

Initial Work: 2010

In the initial year of data collection, a field trial was conducted in a commercial orchard in Kern County The trial included four trunk-shaking harvesters which are currently used commercially for pistachio harvest, and two experimental harvesters.

The trees, among the oldest on the ranch ranged in height from 20.5 to 22 feet tall and averaged 21.2 feet tall, and from 44.0 to 59 inches in circumference, average 47.4 inches, measured 18 inches above the ground. Each tree was shaken for 8 seconds, the nuts caught in a tarp and the remaining fruit gleaned from the tree. If large enough both harvested and gleaned samples were submitted for grading.

While shaking the trees the image analysis procedure was undertaken, and the images later processed and the rate of fruit removal determined. For a photo sequence of the first year harvest, see the Photo Gallery: year 2010.

Pistachio harvest, 2010. Kern Co., CA. Photo by Louise Ferguson
Pistachio harvest, 2010. Kern Co., CA. Photo by Louise Ferguson

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