First tests of mechanical harvest of Origanum vulgare L.

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In Italy Origanum vulgare L. is cultivated only in few areas and its production does not even satisfy the national market demand.Until now the interest on this crop has been very low because of the high cost of manual harvest and bunch binding.The aim of this work is to evaluate the use of a reaper-binder (made for harvesting cereal crops) for harvesting and bunch binding Origanum vulgare L. The tests were carried out in Sicily, in the summer of 2001. The mechanical harvest was carried out using the reaper-binder unmodified, but the results were not satisfactory. The machine was then modified reducing its forward speed and cutting height, in order to improve its working productivity and harvesting quality.The tests of mechanical harvest were compared to parallel manual harvest tests.The results show that the modified reaper-binder has a working productivity much higher than that obtained with the manual harvest. Moreover, its harvesting quality (bunch size and binding height) is similar to that obtained manually.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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