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Revista Facultad Nacional de Agronomía Medellín

Print version ISSN 0304-2847

Abstract

OLIVEROS TASCON, Carlos Eugenio et al. COFFEE HARVEST WITH PORTABLE STEM VIBRATORS. Rev. Fac. Nac. Agron. Medellín [online]. 2005, vol.58, n.1, pp.2697-2708. ISSN 0304-2847.

Portable stem vibrators (PSVs) are tools with great potential for use in coffee harvesting in Colombia, in the passes of greatest production (> 800 g/tree) and concentrations of mature fruits (> 60 %).  Their relative low weight and size permits easy operation within plantations with distances between furrows greater than 1,2 m, in humid soils with slopes of up to 50 %.  In order to obtain maximum harvest quality and greatest harvesting yield, the vibration time per tree must be less than 5 seconds. To operate easily, the vibrator should be fastened to the stem at half its height.  Harvesting should be conducted in teams of two PSVs and four people, two to operate the PSVs and two to handle the fruit capture nets. The potential yield of this technology ranged from 288 to 504 kg/h/vibrator. The effective yield, including the time to remove the coffee from the nets, ranged from 53 to 67 kg/h/person, that in relation to the mean observed during peak passes using traditional manual harvest methods (12 kg/h/person) represents an increase of from 341,7 to 458,3 %, respectively. Although these results show a significant increase in manual labor efficiency in coffee harvest, the global harvesting efficiency (effective/potential) was very low (0,13) and, therefore, it will be necessary to develop more efficient methods for capturing falling fruits.

Keywords : Cosecha mecanizada; vibrador portátil; café; Mechanical harvest; portable vibrator; coffee.

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