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The Benefits of Orchard Mechanization for the Tall Spindle Orchard System

Mario Miranda Sazo, Cultural Practices
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

December 24, 2013

Over the last 6 years we have witnessed the rapid adoption of motorized platforms in many Tall Spindle apple orchards in NY State to reduce production costs. Cornell mechanization research and extension efforts have increased the awareness of the economic benefits of orchard mechanization. The simple, narrow, and very adaptable canopy of the Tall Spindle system has facilitated the use of motorized platforms for partial mechanization of several orchard tasks. During the last four years we have introduced several platforms to growers (self-propelled or pulled by a tractor and single row or 2-row types) at each of the pruning demos conducted in Western NY and in the Champlain and Hudson Valley fruit production regions. NY growers and employees are using platforms for pruning (with loppers, pneumatic pruners, or a chainsaw on a pole), hand thinning, tree training and trellis construction and repair. The use of platforms has increased worker efficiency and also improved the successful adoption of the horticultural techniques of limb renewal pruning, and tree height control. Our current research and extension efforts for orchard mechanization are proceeding along three fronts: motorized platforms to position human workers for greater canopy management efficiency, mechanical pruning with hedging machines and harvest aid machines to improve the efficiency of harvest. In the attached article (Part 1) we describe the current advances and future applications of (1) new motorized platforms for dormant pruning, hand thinning, tree training and trellis construction, (2) the Cornell concept for a fruiting wall via mechanical pruning and other fruit wall experiences from around the world, and (3) the potential benefits and future challenges of robotic pruning in the future. The attached article (Part 2) covers the current advances for mechanized apple harvest in NY and the US.

The Platform Factor - Labor Positioning Machines Producing Good Results (pdf; 1186KB)

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Apples

Apples

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Apricots

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Asian Pears

Blueberries

Blueberries

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Cherries

Currants

Currants

Gooseberries

Gooseberries

Nectarines

Nectarines

Peaches

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Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

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Unusual Fruit

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2022 Events - for details and registration info click on the event title of interest:
CCE prioritizes the health, safety and well-being of the communities we serve. Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and due to an abundance of caution certain events will be cancelled. Please check back through out the week for any additional event cancellations.

Have you missed a meeting recently?  All recorded LOFP hosted webinars can be found on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/LakeOntarioFruitProgram


NOW - please scroll down to find links to Strawberry Grower Survey & Degradable Mulching Films for Sustainable Agriculture Survey!
22 July - Hard Cider Summer Tour 2022 - 10am - 5pm, preregistration required, suggested $5 donation

28 July - 2022 Postharvest Reviews: Session 1. Pre- & postharvest factors affecting the quality of 'Gala' & recommendations for this year's harvest and storage season. - Noon - Free Zoom

9 August - LOF Summer Tour, eastern Orleans County - More info here:


11 August - Annual Cornell Hemp Field Day - 8am - 3pm - $25/person

16 - 17 August - NASGA Summer Tour - all day - South Central Ontario, Canada



Pollinator Resouces

Now available Pollinator Resource Links


Meeting Recordings Now Available

Did you miss the recent meeting?  Check and see if we recorded it and added it to our website or Lake Ontario Fruit Program YouTube Channel.

Honeycrisp Meetup recordings available here.

Why are my trees growing so poorly? recording available here.

Additional Recorded Webinars listing with recording and resource link are available at
https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=838&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38



New Publication on Growing Pawpaws

Are you a fan of pawpaws? These custardy fruits can be hard to come across, so this guide provides information on how to grow your own pawpaw from seed, and how to care for grafted seedlings. Pdf on growing now available.​ https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=799&crumb=crops|crops|unusual_fruit|crop*50

New Weed Management Technology Survey

Want to move away from herbicide reliance? Are you using novel technologies to manage weeds? We want to know about it to inform our weed science research. A team of weed scientists from University of California Davis, Oregon State University, and Cornell University are asking berry, tree fruit, tree nut, and vine crop growers to take 5 to 10 minutes and answer this short and anonymous survey. Weed Technology Survey link: https://cornell.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bEpfAijoP7puQDP

For more information on this survey please visit http://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/2020/12/02/new-weed-management-technology/


Pollinator Webinar Series - Summer 2020

The Pollinator Webinar Series presented by Penn State cover bee health and pollination services.



Bloom Pesticides for Pollinator Health

A reference table created by Janet van Zoeren and Anna Wallis, is now available at https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=711&crumb=pests|pests.

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