In-field Sensing and Decision Support System to Prevent Cherry Fruit Cracking due to Rainwater

Sponsor Agency: WSU-CAHNRS 2014 Emerging Research Issues

Khot, L. R.; Peters, T., Zhang, Q.; Granatstein, D.; Whiting, M

Fruit cracking due to early summer rain remains the key concern for fresh market sweet cherry growers worldwide. Existing mechanical rainwater removal techniques (e.g. orchard sprayers or fans, aerial helicopters) are used by growers but there has been little systematic research on when and how much water needs to be removed from cherry canopies and the effectiveness of water removal. Through this research efforts, we have developed an in-field sensing to monitor real-time rainwater level of orchard canopies to assist grower decision making. Sensing system constitutes array of wetness sensors placed in canopies transmitting logged data in real-time to base station over wireless network. In year 2015, we plan to extensively test the robustness of the sensing system and develop decision rules through field studies. Field studies towards evaluating efficiency of orchard sprayer airblast, manned and unmanned helicopter downwash in rainwater removal will be conducted.In_field_sensing_illustration2.jpg