7 interesting crop harvesters from around the world

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Gone are the days when workers stand out in the sun picking fruits from trees or plucking rice from paddy fields. We look at seven interesting innovations used for harvesting crops around the world; from cherry tree-shakers to robotic strawberry pickers.

7 interesting crop harvesters from around the world
The Agrobot strawberry harvester sure looks like something from the future..

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You might’ve seen massive combines working out in large broadacre fields harvesting wheat and grains which is frankly, quite a sight to behold.

But have you ever witnessed how specialised machines uproot whole rows of carrots in a matter of seconds, or individually pluck strawberries for sorting?

It goes without saying that technology nowadays plays a huge part in ensuring utmost efficiency in food production so as to adequately feed the world’s ever-expanding population.

Take a look at the variety of unique machines below from different parts of the world harvesting crops of all kinds; from tree fruits to root vegetables in record time.


Carrot harvester

Belgian manufacturer Dewulf is a prominent name when it comes to carrot harvesters.

As you can see from the video, the operator drives the harvester through the field and the machine simply lifts the tops of the carrots in rows while a share in the front loosens the soil around the carrots to make pulling them out of the ground easier.  

Something about this video seems strangely hypnotising. One can quite simply watch this all day…


Citrus fruits/olive harvester


It is hard not to marvel at the technology currently available to collect fruits and crops of all kinds.

This video shows a harvester engineered by a company in Victoria at work in an orange farm in New South Wales. 

It’s a trailed machine with a giant frame which moves between fruit tree rows. As it does that, fibreglass rods in the machine taps and shakes the tree branches, loosening the fruits which drops on to conveyors on both sides of the machine.

Bucket conveyors then transport the fruits to the top before a cross conveyor sends the fruits into a collection bin trailing by the side of the harvesting machine. 

These machines can also be used to harvest olives. In fact, we filmed a similar machine in action at an olive-growing operation some time ago. Watch the video here.


Mushroom harvester

While machines involved in harvesting mushrooms are not as big and complex as the others on this list, watching them in action is nothing short of eye-opening.  

Mushrooms for consumption are mainly grown indoors on trays. According to mushroom product manufacturer Scelta, mushrooms that will be sold fresh are still harvested by hand whereas those meant for preserving are picked and sorted mechanically.

In the video, the mushrooms picked are destined for the cannery therefore are harvested by means of a machine. 

Watch the video as the machine sweeps across the entire tray of mushrooms, clearing them off the beds before spitting them out on to a conveyor for further processing.


Rice harvester


Rice is still planted and harvested by hand in certain parts of the world, but not anymore in advanced countries like Japan and those in the Western world.

Rice harvesting is probably no different from wheat and grain harvesting using combines on larger scale farms.

However, this smaller machine in the video simply "sucks up" all crops in its way and clears everything in its path within minutes.

Imagine the time and cost you can save with this …


Grape harvester

A grape harvester is probably best described as a downsized version of a citrus fruit harvester.

It is a machine consisting of a narrower frame compared to that of a citrus fruit harvester which also moves through rows of trees to collect the crops.

It features the same picking mechanism as well, in the form of beaters shaking the trees gently as it moves through the rows, loosening fruits from the trees for collection.

A conveyor system then sends the fruits to the harvesting bin.

Most modern grape harvesters feature sophisticated technology to thoroughly clean and destem the grapes for further processing, effectively cutting down on cost and time.


Cherry harvester

Continuing with the theme of tree-shaking, cherry harvesting consists of a contraption that operators attach to the cherry tree, and a canvas which stretches all around the tree.

When activated, the device shakes the tree which forces the cherries to fall to the ground, and the canvas collects all the fruits falling from the tree.

A conveyor sits right next to the canvas so when the canvas is rolled up the cherries fall right on to the conveyor which then transports the fruits for collection. Simple but effective.


Agrobot Strawberry harvester

Probably the most interesting machine on the list, this extraordinary robotic device created by Spanish company Agrobot features multiple arms that pick strawberries based on their ripeness.

As the machine moves through the rows of strawberries, its robotic arms simply move back and forth picking the strawberries and placing them on a conveyor which transports the fruits up to the operator’s station.

It features an advanced sensor technology that recognises exactly how ripe each individual strawberry is, and whether or not they are ready for picking before cutting them cleanly off the stem for collection.

The only thing left for the operator to do is pack them up ready for the market. How convenient!

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