- By Jason Fischbach Thanks to funding from the USDA-Specialty Crop Multi-State Program, our team at the UMHDI Hazelnut Processing Accelerator has been able to spend some time the last two years evaluating different types of harvesting units on hedgerows of hybrid hazelnuts. In general, hazelnuts are either hand-harvested direct from the shrub or swept or vacuumed off the orchard floor as is done in Oregon. Hand-harvesting just isn't practical at scale and in the Upper Midwest we'd prefer to not harvest from the ground given our fall precipitation and desire to have a vegetated orchard floor. For that reason, we're interested in removing the nut clusters from the shrubs using straddle-type harvesters. Such harvesters are commonly used with small fruits such as blueberries, olives, and increasingly, nut crops. First, check out the video to see clips of each of the four units we've tested in action. Then, give a listen to the podcast where we experience the units in action and discuss the pros and cons of each with our research leads Dave Bohnhoff and Scott Sanford from the UW-Madison Department of Biological Systems Engineering. Looking for more information and results from the trials? Register for the November 5 webinar with Dave and Scott. Click the button above to register.
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