Yield monitoring and mechanical harvesting of wild blueberries to improve farm profitability

Karen Esau, Qamar U. Zaman, Aitazaz A. Farooque, Travis J. Esau, Arnold W. Schumann, Farhat Abbas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Numerous factors affect the harvesting efficiency of mechanical harvesters resulting in varying harvesting yields and losses within fields. The crop and topographical factors influencing harvesting efficiency include plant height, density, fruit diameter, slope, and elevation. Meteorological factors affecting the performance of mechanical harvesters include temperature, relative humidity, plant canopy wetness, and soil moisture. The placement of sensors used for yield monitoring in real-time, ground speed, head revolutions, and head diameter are the mechanical factors causing fluctuations in harvested yield. The mechanical harvesting of wild blueberries, and harvesting efficiencies are quite variable due to the shortage of skilled operators, uneven field terrain, spatial variations in plant parameters (height, fruit zone, density), and short harvesting season. This chapter presents novel information to improve mechanical harvesting challenges faced by the wild blueberry industry, by optimizing the harvesting operation and processes through the implementation of precision harvesting technologies to improve picking efficiency and reduce losses. An efficient harvester that is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, operated at the right combination of mechanical parameters by considering the spatial variations, has a strong potential to improve profit margins for wild blueberry growers by reducing harvesting losses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrecision Agriculture
Subtitle of host publicationEvolution, Insights and Emerging Trends
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780443189531
ISBN (Print)9780443189548
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Harvesting losses
  • Mechanical harvesters
  • Precision agriculture
  • Profit margins
  • Sustainability
  • Wild blueberry
  • Yield monitoring


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