WUFT News

Mechanical harvesting could see growth, despite recent declines in Florida

By on November 26th, 2012

The use of mechanical harvesting for citrus in Florida declined by about 74 percent in recent seasons, according to an article in The (Lakeland) Ledger.

Industry officials said one explanation for this decline is a widespread citrus infection called “greening,” which renders the fruit inedible and has affected more than 70 percent of Florida’s citrus.

Prof. Bob Ebel at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences said the decline has not effected the citrus economy significantly. Ebel defines mechanical harvesting as “the use of machines to remove fruit from trees with the idea that it would replace labor.”

He said he expects this type of harvesting to grow more popular.

“I believe that there is a tremendous future for it if they would really put their minds to it,” said Ebel, who focuses his research on the mechanical harvesting of sweet oranges in Florida.

“Hopefully if the distractions can get down enough to where they can then do the kind of planning that would be required, I could really see it taking off.”

Ebel said mechanical harvesting is more cost effective than hand labor.

“I’ve talked to some of the managers of some of the grooves down here in our area and some of them are very progressive and really believe in mechanical harvesting in the future,” he said. “I believe they see what I see and they really believe that this is the right way to go, so I really believe that we’ll get there eventually.”

Emily Miller wrote this story for online.


This entry was posted in Environment, Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Environment

This octagon-based receptacle, which looks as if its been opened, sits in front of Dragonfly Sushi in downtown Gainesville. Morgan Kalish, a downtown worker, smokes a cigarette as he walks by it on Monday morning.

Cigarette Receptacles Making Impact Downtown

The local Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is seeing success after the installation of more than two dozen cigarette receptacles in the downtown area. The program hopes to expand into midtown, despite vandalization by the homeless.


Skeletonization of a Gainesville air potato leaf shows why the air potato beetle is considered one of the most successful biocontrol approaches in recent decades compared to other projects — current or past.

Plant-Eating Beetle: Cheapest Way To Kill Weeds

The FWC has seen recent success in controlling invasive plants that overrun Florida with the use of air potato beetles, and other beetle species.


Cedar Key School’s Future Farmers Of America Chapter Fights Local Hunger

Students from Cedar Key School, a public K-12 school, vow to fight hunger in Levy County by cultivating land at the school to provide fresh, healthy food. The school donated 7,000 pounds of fresh food to the Cedar Key United Methodist Church Food Pantry.


The town’s water tank lies behind a barbed chain link fence in the forest, across from Otter Creek Baptist Church. When the water is stored, the contaminants accumulate because it sits in the pipes and doesn’t circulate.

Water Contamination Problems Persist In Otter Creek

Otter Creek’s search to buy land acquisition with a source of clean water may lead to an end to the town’s ongoing water-contamination issues.


Withlacoochee River and Dunnellon Trail Bridge.

Long-Awaited Dunnellon Blue Run Trail Extension Under Construction

Dunnellon is using funds from a Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant to finish a section of path that connects the Dunnellon and Blue Run trails. The trail will now fully support hiking, jogging, biking and rollerblading after its expected completion in December.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments