Friday, June 22, 2018

It's getting hot out there, time to try a night harvest?

Last summer we conducted a small study looking at the possibility of night harvest for blackberries.

Briefly this is what we found:

  • Headlamps worked well. We used some that were rechargeable LED headlamps. They were about $20, from Amazon. There are other sources. Don't get the cheap ones they don't give you enough light. 

  • The fruit temperatures and air temperatures were almost identical last year, when we did our 24 hr study. We saw a 30F difference in temperatures, with a minimum temperature of 58F around 3 am and a high of 85 at noon.
  • The fruit never got wet BUT THE LEAVES DID.  The dew formed on the leaves around 1 am. The dew from those leaves was knocked onto the fruit during harvest and impacted the fruit quality. So, we think that after the leaves get wet, it is time to stop harvesting to prevent fruit from getting wet.
  • You many not want to harvest all night, but if you harvest late into the evening, those cooler temperatures may give your workers a more comfortable working environment and may improve fruit quality. 
Here is a link to the post from last year.

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