Current USDA Blueberry Research

Report
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2015 Spring Meeting Florida Blueberry Growers’ Association
CURRENT USDA BLUEBERRY RESEARCH:
* SEASONAL SHADING OF BLUEBERRY PLANTS
* MECHANICAL AND HARVEST-AID SYSTEMS FOR FRESHMARKET PACK-OUT BLUEBRRY
* BLUEBERRY PACKING LINE EVALUATION
Fumiomi Takeda
USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station
Kearneysville, WV 25430
Seasonal, Retractable Shading System for Blueberries
in the Southeast
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Cooler plant temperature/Substitute for HC?
Advance bloom, Improve fruit set
Reduce frost damage, Bird predation?
Increase U-Pick customer satisfaction
Bartow, FL
Feb. 2013
Scale-Neutral Harvest-Aid System and Sensor
Technologies to Improve Harvest Efficiency and
Handling of Fresh-Market Highbush Blueberries
Project Overview
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USDA NIFA competitive grant: Specialty Crop Research Initiative ($2.37 million)
14 PIs from 10 LAND-GRANT UNIVERSITIES and USDA-ARS
Multi-state, comprehensive 4-year research/ extension project to develop semimechanical harvesters and sensor technologies to take fresh market blueberry
production to next level
3
Objectives
1. Develop high-throughput phenotyping, sensor technologies
2. Design a new semi-mechanical harvest-aid system for efficient
mechanical fruit harvesting for small- and medium-size
blueberry farms and with fruit quality for fresh-market packout
3. Develop the next-generation berry impact recording sensor
and use it to improve harvest and postharvest operations
through a critical understanding of mechanical impacts
4
Objectives
4. Determine microbial contamination and critical
control points along the harvest and
postharvest chain with the new harvesting
system
5. Conduct economic and ergonomic analyses of
new developed harvesting technologies
6. Outreach and technology transfer
HAND-HARVESTED
MACHINE-HARVESTED
Hand-harvested blueberries
Fruit dropped from heights > 2 feet
Internal bruise detection using near infrared
imaging system
Bruised
Band ratio near infrared images
(1075/1250 nm) of bruised
blueberries (top row) and healthy
blueberries (bottom row);
• A SWRI hyperspectral imaging system will be used
• PCA and minimum noise fraction transform will be used to enhance
features
• Band ratio images will be used to enhance bruising feature
• Linear Bayesian classifier for classification
9/27
Thermal imaging
Bruised
Thermal image of one bruised
(right) and one healthy (left)
blueberries (Li, Unpublished
work).
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Pulsed-phase thermography
Thermal camera (T440, FLIR) 320 x 240
10 s heat excitation
Frequency, amplitude, and phase delay will be analyzed by fast
Fourier transform using Matlab
• Artificial bruising (pendulum); 24h and 48h after bruising
10/27
PACKING HOUSE EVALUATION
3 Accelerometers
Y
12/27
BIRD II
CUMULATIVE DROP HEIGHT = ~ 40 in.
ELECTRONIC
SORTER
SIZER
Grading Line
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*
*
*
Fruit dropped once from 24-inch height onto
padded surface
Fruit dropped 5 times from 6-inch height to hard surface
Objective 2
•Design a new semi-mechanical harvest-aid
system for efficient mechanical fruit
harvesting for small- and medium-size
blueberry farms.
Goal: Machine harvest blueberries without
bruising them!
18/27
Alternative Harvester Design: Reduce how far berries
drop
1. Plant canopy manipulation; 2) Positioning of catcher plates
Catcher plate design
Padded catcher plate
Various padding products are being
evaluated
1000
Plastic r2=0.99
No Bruze r2=0.99
Impact (g)
800
600
400
200
?
(a)
0
0
20
40
60
80
Drop height (cm)
100
120
140
Putting all the components together:
Multi-Row Harvesting Platform?
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Improved fruit removal apparatus
Catcher plates that minimize fruit bruising
Ergonomic
Higher capacity platform harvesting system
Thank you!
Questions?

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