domingo, noviembre 04, 2007

Termina cosecha record en Oregon con casi 90% de la misma realizada mecánicamente

Termina cosecha récord en Oregon con precios muy firmes y casi el 90% de la fruta cosechada mecánicamente. Hace 10 años este porcentaje era de 25% pero con los problemas en la mano de obra, el tema inmigrantes indocumentados y el alza de salarios, el productor norteamericano busca cada vez mas la cosecha mecánica. Aquí la nota
Record blueberry crop expected

Saturday, November 3, 2007
The Oregon blueberry harvest is almost completed, with record production and prices expected, according to the Oregon State University Extension Service. Last year, the Oregon blueberry crop brought in a record $53.1 million in gross sales with more than 35.6 million pounds harvested. This year’s crop is expected to easily exceed that level, according to OSU berry experts, making it the fourth record-breaking year in a row. As consumer demand for blueberries has soared, in part because of news about their health benefits, so has the amount of land devoted to growing the berries, said Bernadine Strik, Oregon State University Extension berry crops specialist. Harvested blueberry acreage in Oregon has more than doubled from 2,100 acres in 1995 to 4,400 acres in 2006, she said, with hundreds more acres expected to start producing in the next few years.
Advances in machine harvesting have reduced harvesting costs in recent years, helping blueberry growers to be more competitive, Strik said. Ten years ago, only about one-fourth of the Oregon blueberry crop was machine-harvested, Strik said, while today mechanical harvesters bring in more than 90 percent of the crop.
OSU researchers are working on better ways to package fresh berry products — including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries — according to Strik and Yanyun Zhao, OSU Extension value-added foods specialist. “The goal is to find ways to increase the shelf-life of Oregon berry products, which will enable our growers to distribute more of their product in higher-value fresh markets,” Zhao said. One of the techniques being researched is the application of an edible film that can be used as a coating on individual berries, keeping them fresh longer.

Fuente Ilene Aleshire The Register-Guard

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