Good Fruit Grower

September 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 55 Good Fruit Grower SEPTEMBER 2016 33 Based on the videos, workers and supervisors deter- mine ways in which individuals or crews might improve their efficiency. In addition, the review also addresses overall pick quality, including the consistency of fruit color and quality. Extras What if you were able to determine exactly where the best and worst yields were within any given block or row? To that end, Howitt's team mounted four load cells — electronic devices that measure weight — to the platform, one on each corner. As weight is added, the metal in the device is stressed. It responds to the stress by sending out an electrical current that is interpreted by the processor to determine the increase in bin weights. This data will enable them to create a yield map of an orchard. Next, Wafler asked if they could determine where each of the platforms was, at any given time, on his farms. That solution was a relatively easy one: They added a GPS system. It's still a work in progress, with the current challenge being communication. Since Wafler Farms consists of a number of locations over several miles of north- western New York countryside, they need to devise a means of transmitting that data continuously to the communication hub. The very low speed at which the mobile platform moves — 7 feet per minute — made accurate GPS tracking difficult. They solved that by adding a computer to work off the wheels, tracking both speed and distance. Now the Waflers can graph its movement for every minute it is in motion based on computer reports sent to the processor once a second. The downside is that data is stored on the platform with the video data and can't be analyzed until the end of the day. That's why the Agrinetix technical staff is currently looking at building a wireless network for real-time reporting. • PhoTos by TJ Mullinax/Good FruiT Grower Above, Rick Howitt monitors a small computer that records data collected from a Huron Fruit Systems platform during apple thinning, part of a monitoring system that also includes Wi-fi cameras and video monitors, as shown in the two photos at left.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - September 2016