The April 2011 issue of American Fruit Grower magazine features an article by Fall Creek's President Dave Brazelton on the topic of whether blueberry growers should consider machine harvesting their berries. In the article Dave states that machine harvesting is a viable option for fresh markets but warns growers to consider many issues before making a final decision.
Clearly labor and cost issues are primary reasons farmers are questioning whether they should machine harvest blueberries. At Fall Creek we receive lots of questions about this very issue and we work to help growers identify whether machine harvesting is a good option for them. This article highlights different points for growers to consider from their fruit ripening windows, types of varieties, what markets the fruit is sold into, field layout and more.
If you're trying to determine if machine harvesting is right for your own fresh market farming operation, start by reading this article. We also encourage you to talk to our team for more insight. Careful consideration up front will lead to greater success in the long run.