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Safety in Hazelnut Mechanical Harvesting

  • Autori: Catania P.; Alleri M.; Roma E.; Vallone M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Contributo in atti di convegno pubblicato in volume
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Hazelnut cultivation occupies an area of about 13,000 ha in Sicily, 10,000 of which are concentrated in the province of Messina, specifically in the pedo-mountain municipalities of the Nebrodi. These are heterogeneous plants by cultivar and planting time. To date, the hazelnut represents a scarcely mechanized marginal crop, with a characteristic training system as the multi stemmed bush. The harvest takes place as soon as the hazelnuts reach maturity and detach from the herbaceous dome that surrounds them falling to the ground. Before harvesting, swathing is carried out by hand using rakes, or facilitated by backpack blowers, or mechanically by means of a swather or with a tractor-mounted blowing tubes. Harvesting is done by hand directly from the ground, with implications for the health of the operators; it requires a high need for manpower, difficult to find. Labor productivity remains very low (10 kg/h per worker). The aim of the research was to study the mechanization of hazelnut harvesting in the Sicilian environment.