Harvest

Stephen S. Miller

The harvest of tree fruit is a labor-intensive task. Labor availability for harvest, once considered plentiful, now constitutes an important limiting factor for many growers in Europe, the United States, and other fruit-producing countries. Harvesting requires special attention to ensure that fruit are picked at the proper stage of maturity with minimal damage. Because most tree fruit crops are still harvested by hand, it is a major production cost. Since market destination generally dictates the method of harvest, fruit intended for the fresh market are usually hand harvested, while fruit designated for processing may be mechanically harvested.

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