Mechanically harvesting peppers with a Pik Rite harvester.

Mechanically harvesting peppers


Mechanically harvesting peppers can add value to your operation. It is a safer, more efficient and more predictable way to harvest your crop in a timely manner. When using a machine you’ll be able to assess your production capacity allowing the grower and the processor to plan accordingly. It also brings a level of assurance to the grower and the processor, knowing that the harvester will work all day to harvest the crop. In addition to peppers, the Pik Rite harvester is used to harvest many other vegetable crops including tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and pumpkins. From the processor standpoint, it brings accuracy and efficiency to the goals that they need to meet on a daily, weekly and overall season level. Mechanical harvesting can also ease the burden of inaccuracies that hand harvest entails by removing the attitude and personal opinion of the people that are in the field. It is as selective of the crop being harvested and the quality of the crop being harvested as you set it to be.
History has seen many changes in the evolution of mechanical harvesting. Changes include better methods of removing foreign material, removing off-color fruit, increased capacity, and owner/operator education and operational improvements. Seasonally every crop has its own set of challenges that define it as it is growing. The mature product can harvest totally different from one season to the next (although the same variety). Sometimes the harvest conditions are so dynamic that it changes from the morning to the afternoon. The manufacturer is always challenged to accommodate different operating parameters and design new innovative features. Communication with the growers and operators of the equipment is imperative for the manufacturer.
One of the most important aspects of the successful mechanical harvest of any vegetable crop is the genetics of the crop. Genetics have a significant impact on quality and yield. Genetic improvements allow mechanical harvesters to provide a raw product to the processor that is superior to that of hand-harvested product. When harvesting with a machine the custom is a single harvest. Therefore you want to have as much of the product mature at the same time as possible to increase your maximum yield potential.
As a manufacturer of vegetable harvesting equipment, we have learned that many of the same harvesting methods such as cleaning, color sorting, removing the product from the vines and many cultural practices can be used for multiple crops. We have applied many of these techniques to the harvesters that our customers are using.  To have success in mechanical harvesting, teamwork is essential, from the farm and field laborer to the processor. Ultimately the processor will see a better product when they make the transition from hand harvest to machine harvest creating a positive experience.
As we look to the future of the global market, mechanical harvesting is the only viable alternative for the grower and the processor as well. This is not limited to processing crops. There is great potential for mechanical harvesting of fresh market vegetables as well. Recently, we have seen significant expansion in digital farming technology. Pik Rite, Inc. is currently incorporating this technology into our harvesting equipment.  Our growers and processors are realizing the benefits of digital farming. This technology is currently used for planting, cultivating and harvesting. There are also benefits for yield monitoring, quality control and accurate loads.
In the present and future, Pik Rite is committed to both the grower and the processor. Our passion is to build simple, quality equipment and help make the transition to mechanical harvest a positive and profitable experience.

Click here to see the Pik Rite 190 Pepper Harvester in operation!

For more information about Pik Rite pepper harvesters contact Kevin Baker by email [] or call 800-326-9763.