Julian Beaver, from Korvan Chile Ltda .: "The first advantage of the mechanized harvest is that 106 reduces working hours to 3 per hectare, and the second is that it is harvested only by maturity and not by color"
Julian Beaver is the Manager of Korvan Chile, a Dutch importer that has been bringing harvesting machines to Chile, both automotive and tractor-driven. Its products provide services from Curicó to Osorno and extending to other regions.
Mr. Beaver spoke with Blueberrieschile.cl in the framework of the "First International Seminar of Blueberries: New technical alternatives and commercialization of the industry", made last August 28 at the Monticello Conference Center, and organized by Blueberrieschile.cl and AGQ. In this regard, he pointed out that when people talk about mechanized harvesting in this type of event, people do not directly relate to the machinery or to the harvest itself, as researchers or academic experts do. He states that these exhibitions should be made by the importers of machinery or by the producers who have harvested in this way, so their testimony would be more direct and truthful.
His great criticism to the environment is that the producers do not inform themselves and get carried away by what others say without having investigated or having any experience with this type of harvest.
"If they are producers and have not looked for information about mechanized harvesting, they are missing .... ... science ... ... they lack information, because that should be the first concern of producers, that should be an eternal search of the producer, to be more efficient and lower costs " claim and add that "If you go to Google and put mechanized harvest, you will see twenty contents that you can consult".
However, it should be clarified that although there are several contents related to mechanized harvesting on the Internet, the most recent analyzes or studies in this regard are closed to all public and can only be accessed by subscribers of those pages, or must be paid to see them. Very few are open to the public.
The mechanized harvest of cranberries is effectively the method that implies a lower cost for the producer in the process of fruit harvesting. It is currently in the United States where this type of harvest is most used and is traditionally used for the Highbush cranberry.
For his part, Cort Brazelton, manager of Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, a few months ago assured that blueberry producers are increasingly incorporating this technology into their crops, evaluating «whether it is viable for fresh market sales ».
Brazelton explained that "the labor shortage in most of the producing regions has led producers to look for cost-effective alternatives to harvest their crops… and because the situation of the workforce will not improve ”.
Cort Brazelton agrees that the universal desire of the industry is the finding of a definitive and reliable system that allows a change towards the use of this technology and explains that there are currently public and private programs that are focused on developing more varieties. suitable for mechanized harvesting, both for the fresh market and for processing. At the same time, he assures that machine manufacturing companies are aware of the need to improve equipment to minimize the negative impact on the quality of the fruit.
Thinking ahead, Brazelton indicates that producers should ask themselves if they should design their crops and prepare them for mechanized harvesting, regardless of whether the crop is for fresh or processed, and on the other hand they should ask themselves if they are aware of the best harvesting technologies. mechanized and postharvest systems, because their vision of the immediate future of the industry is that “The direction of the blueberry industry is clear: more productive varieties, more firmness, fruit that is suitable for mechanized harvesting, both fresh and processed. Producers must be prepared to invest and be able to adopt new tools, systems and innovation as our industry evolves ».
Julian Beaver, for his part, highlights the main reasons for considering mechanized harvesting as an alternative in the immediate future, since the first advantage of mechanized harvesting is that it is reduced from 106 working days to 3 per hectare, so that the costs of production is considerably reduced, in addition to facing the great problem of labor shortages. The second advantage that he highlights with respect to manual harvesting is that mechanically it is harvested only by maturity and not by color, since the color is misleading and the machine's toothpick system ensures that the harvesting of the fruit is only that which is in conditions of maturity to be harvested.
"Currently the costs of manual harvest of blueberries is US $ 1.20 per kilo, and with the mechanized harvest in the first four years is US $ 0.25, while the machine is amortized, because after the fifth year is much less than that " emphasizes, and reminds us smiling "I will speak with the organizers so that in the next Blueberries Seminar I come to explain the advantages of mechanized harvesting".
Previous articleSebastián Sepúlveda, from Alfaberries: "For the Lobesia, this year and the other we will have a season of a little strange volumes in frozen"