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The Status of Labor-Saving Mechanization in U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Harvesting


  • Huffman, Wallace E.


This paper provides a description of important steps in the mechanization of U.S. fruit and vegetable harvesting, which can be hard, backbreaking work, and in addition, the risk of falling is significant for hand-harvesting fruit trees from ladders. Switching to mechanical harvesting frequently requires the transformation of a farming operation, e.g., new crop varieties, new field configurations, and new packing processes. In addition, a significant capital outlay is frequently required. Progress in mechanization varies a great deal across fruit and vegetable crops.

Suggested Citation

  • Huffman, Wallace E., 2012. "The Status of Labor-Saving Mechanization in U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Harvesting," Staff General Research Papers Archive 35132, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35132

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    fruits; vegetables; United States; Mechanization; mechanical harvesters;

    JEL classification:

    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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