Industrial Apple Harvesting: How Modern Technology is Changing the Industry?

Industrial apple harvesting is gaining momentum due to labour shortages and low apple prices. Growers are increasingly adopting this method, using specially designed orchards and techniques, to improve efficiency and fruit quality during the peak harvest season. This shift is particularly relevant for orchards specifically designed for mechanical harvesting, as these typically cultivate apple varieties well-suited to this approach.

The Labor Challenge: Manual vs. Mechanical Industrial Apple Harvesting

Traditionally, apple harvesting has relied on manual labor. However, this approach requires a large workforce, which can be difficult and expensive to secure, especially for large orchards. Modern technology offers a solution for industrial apple harvesting. At JAGODA JPS, we offer various types of harvesting equipment, from trunk shakers to over-the-row harvesters.

cherry and plum harvesting machines- industrial Apples Harvesting from JAGODA JPS Agromachines<br />

Our top products are the apple tree shaker harvesters such automatic GACEK model, and G-004 with tarpaulin. We also offer full-row trailed harvester JAGODA 300, alongside the PESTKA trunk shaker and for small orchard the tree cable shaker RS100. These advanced solutions minimize the need for manual labor, significantly reducing harvest time and boosting overall operational efficiency.

Innovative Shaking Solutions: Orchard Harvesting Efficiency

We understand that some apple growers are concerned about the impact of trunk shaking on tree roots. At JAGODA, we prioritize innovation and collaboration with growers to develop solutions. In cooperation with the Institute of Horticulture (Inhort), we have produced an innovative shaking head that differs significantly from anything else available on the market.

    Here’s the evidence: We’ve utilized the same shaking head on a cherry orchard for over a decade, comparing it to traditional shaking head technology. The outcomes are clear: the PESTKA head delivers unmatched performance and then is patent-protected by our company. Below, we will describe on our shaking head options and emphasize their differences. 

      Apple trunk shaker PESTKA - JAGODA JPS Agromachines

      Compatible with all our tree shaker harvesters.

      • P20 (22 cm clamping diameter): An innovative and exclusive option utilizing a timing belt system and three gears. Operating seamlessly with a minimum flow of 20 l/min, it maximizes efficiency and ensures gentle tree handling. Removable weight plates enable the adjustment of vibration intensity on the trunk.
      • P30 (30 cm clamping diameter): Maintaining high efficiency and tree protection, thanks to the same internal timing belt system as the P20. It requires a flow of only 20 l/min or 25 l/min.
      • P30M (30 cm clamping diameter): A more conventional approach, the P30M employs a two-gear system with internal shafts like all available tree shakers on the market. It necessitates a standard flow of over 50-60 l/min for the shaking head alone. For increased power, consider the optional hydraulic kit at an additional cost. However, stronger shaking may be harsher on trees. That’s why the P20 and P30 stand out as the most innovative machines in the market and are bestsellers.

      These advanced shaking solutions are tailored for industrial apple harvesting, ensuring efficient and gentle apple harvests.

      Plums harvester G-004 and industrial apple harvesting machine

      Industrial Apple Harvesting with the G-004

      The G-004 harvester employs a mechanized technique for shaking apples loose from trees, eliminating the need for manual picking. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

      Technical specifications:

      • Output: 1 Tree per minute
      • Fruit Capacity of working platforms: 500 kg;
      • Shakers: Optional P20 or  P30
      • Power requirement: 40 HP.

      1. Screen Positioning : The tractor operator maneuvers the harvester by using the steering wheels of the harvester to an optimal location next to the row of apple tree. Once in position, they activate the hydraulic tarpaulin unfolding function. This specialized screen, mounted on rounded arms, extends outward to create a catching surface below the tree.

      2. Shaking and Fruit Collection: The shaker head P20 or P30 operator takes control, using a gripping claw to firmly grasp the tree trunk. They then initiate the shaking process. The shaker mechanism on the harvester arm dynamically shakes the tree, causing ripe apples to detach and fall. The strategically positioned hydraulic screen efficiently catches the falling apples.

      3. Fruit Transport and Cleaning: After the shaking is complete, the operator folds the hydraulic screen back up, depositing the collected apples onto a conveyor belt. As the apples portable along the conveyor, they pass through a cleaning unit that removes any impurities or leaves.

      4. Harvesting and Unloading: Finally, the clean apples arrive at the working platform of the harvester. Here, they are deposited into  boxes, either large bins or smaller boxes, depending on the operation’s preference. Once the boxes are filled, a roller platform facilitates their unloading, streamlining the harvesting process.

       In essence, the G-004 harvester offers an efficient and mechanized solution for medium-scale apple harvesting, significantly reducing reliance on manual labor.

        Modern Machinery for Intensive Orchards: 

        The JAGODA 300 harvester is engineered for intensive orchards, specifically designed to efficiently collect berries from plantations prepared for mechanical harvesting. It adeptly tackles cherries, plums, and even processing apples. Utilizing innovative vertical shakers, it gently dislodges ripe fruit without causing harm. The detached fruit then smoothly transports on conveyor belts for cleaning before being finally placed in small or pallet boxes.

        JAGODA 300 cherry harvester with high-capacity fruit boxes offering efficient collection and storage.

        New cultivars and varieties have emerged with tailored  mechanical attributes to align seamlessly with this method of harvesting.

        To achieve optimal efficiency with mechanical harvesting, your plantation layout should adhere to specific parameters. Firstly, ensure a spacious layout by keeping a minimum of 3 to 4 meters between rows to allow comfortable maneuvering of the harvester. For the trees themselves, a minimum trunk height of 0.5 meters provides clearance for the harvester. Ideally, the overall tree height should be limited to 3.3 meters to ensure the harvester reaches all the fruit without damaging upper branches. Canopy management is crucial. While a maximum crown diameter of 2 meters is ideal ensuring  the branches are flexible and easily bend to enter and exit the harvester. To optimize fruit accessibility and minimize loss during harvest, regular pruning is recommended to maintain a narrower crown width. Finally, to allocate a clear area of 6 to 8 meters at the end of each row.


        • Operational Speed: 0.5 – 1.0 kilometers per hour
        • Output: 0.2 – 0.4 hectares per hour
        • Total Platform Capacity: 1000 kilograms
        • Power Requirement: 70 HP

        For information in other languages, you can consult Agriexpo, a leading platform for the agricultural sector.

        The Future of Industrial Apple Harvesting

        In today’s competitive fruit farming landscape, embracing modern machinery is vital for success. Farms that utilize innovative solutions like the GACEK, PESTKA, and G-004 harvesters are better positioned to thrive in the market. By carefully evaluating available options and strategically investing in industrial apple harvesting technology, apples and cherry growers  can enhance efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, profitability.


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