Researchers in China have developed a new method to facilitate mechanized harvesting of goji berries, according to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Chinese goji berries, also known as Chinese wolf berries, are increasingly sought after by consumers worldwide. Picking goji berries takes a lot of manual work and the manual cost accounts for half of its total production cost. There is a growing need for mechanized harvesting methods to increase efficiency.
Researchers from the Nanjing Research Institute for Agricultural Mechanization, Ningxia Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences as well as machinery manufacturing companies have solved the problem by proposing a new goji berry cultivation method and developing new harvesting equipment.
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The cultivation method makes wolf berries suitable for mechanized harvesting and the vibrating wolfberry-picking machine can pick more than 90 percent of the goji berries at a time, with a damage rate of less than 5 percent.
It can harvest around 144 goji berry trees in an hour, equivalent to the work of 30 goji berry pickers. The technology is expected to address the labor shortage and increase the efficiency of the berry industry, according to the academy.