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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 277: III International Symposium on Processing Tomatoes

MECHANICAL HARVESTING TOMATOES FOR PROCESSING

Author:   E. Manfredi
Abstract:
Among the vegetable crops in particular the tomato for processing, has incited a lot of research for intensifing and improving the introduction machines specialized for growing and harvesting. The tomato cultivation over the last 20 years has had infact a continous technical evolution for reducing the production costs and for making up to labour. Recent determinations in Emilia (Italy) show that the costs for tomatoes harvesting by machine are about 30% of the total costs, with a reduction from 40% to 50% compared to manual harvesting.

Considering the mechanical harvesting the genetics contribution led to a new variety and consequently to new and appropriates technical operations on the field, which are: seeding and transplanting, fertilization, irrigation, weeds control and spraying, etc.

In this context the ethylene treatment became a part as complementary operation in the agrotechnique for this crop.

In fact a profitable mechanical harvesting requires 80% at least of the tomatoes with contemporary ripeness concerning only one harvesting operation. Moreover this is necessary for the best planning of the harvesting during a larger period in the season.

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