Field Observations of Machine-harvest Inefficiencies and Suggested Corrective Measures for a Commercial ‘Noble’ Muscadine Grape Block Trained to a Single Cordon

Jacque W Breman, Paul Laubacker

Abstract


For two growing seasons, 2010 and 2011, in northeastern Florida, several producers sharing the same mechanical harvester reported difficulty harvesting ‘Noble’ muscadine grape (Vitus rotundifoliaMichx.) berries. Field observation
during the 2011 harvest of a ‘Noble’ muscadine by a model 2720 Braud®
harvester showed visual differences in berry harvest depending on whether harvesting in the direction of the single-cordon or against it. Paired-row replicated hand-harvests of with-cordon and against-cordon harvests were systematically sampled on a diagonal field transect at progressive, four-row intervals for a total of four replications. Mean berry weight left in the vineyard was 2158 lb/acre when harvested in the direction of the cordon compared to 674 lb/acre when harvested against the direction of the cordon (F-test, P= 0.001). Field recommendation was to harvest every other row against the direction of the single cordon immediately. The additional 1484 lb of harvestable berries per acre justified the second pass by the mechanical harvester. Fruiting wood also appeared to have been aggressively pruned, placing the fruiting nodes close to the cordon. A recommendation was to not prune so closely to the cordon, so berries would be further from the cordon and more harvestable. Harvest direction efficiencies may need to be tested multiple seasons with this harvester before recommending training cordons in alternating directions for future plantings of ‘Noble’ vineyards.


Keywords


Vitis rotundifolia, mechanical harvest, vine training

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283