Evaluation the mechanical harvesting efficiency of olive with the application of fruit loosening spray

Adnan I. Khdair, Ghaida Abu-Rumman, Sawsan Khdair


Abstract: Olive is harvested mainly by hand in the Mediterranean. This resulted in steady rising of harvesting cost due to shortage of skilled labors at harvesting time. Operation cost might be reduced and harvesting processes will be carried out on time if mechanical harvesters are used. In 2015 an experiment was performed to study the effects of mechanical harvester and use of loosening agent on harvesting productivity and efficiency. The experiment was conducted using randomized complete block with two regional olive varieties Nabali Rosie and Nabali. Harvesting productivity by hand (hand picking), pneumatic comb and branch shaker machines were evaluated. Ethrel abscission chemical was used two weeks before harvesting as an abscission and loosening agent at three concentration levels: 0, 1500 and 3000 ppm. The results showed that harvesting techniques and Ethrel amount had significant effects on yield productivity at α = 0.01. The harvesting productivity increased by two and four times compared to traditional method (hand harvesting) using pneumatic comb and branch shaker machines, respectively. The fruit detachment force (FDF) was also significantly affected by abscission dosage at α = 0.01. It was reduced from 9.35 N to 5.65 N for Nabali Rosie at ethrel level of 1500 ppm. This reduction in FDF as result of abscission application increased the removal percentage and harvesting production of olives. The percentages of injured fruits and detached leaves were acceptable with less than 10% and 12%, respectively.


Olive Mechanical Harvesting, abscission, harvest productivity, removal efficiency, fruit detachment force

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