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harvester

harvester, farm machine that mechanically harvests a crop. Small-grain harvesting has been mechanized to a certain extent since early times. In the modern period the first harvester to gain general acceptance was made by Cyrus McCormick in 1831 (see reaper). More recently the combine has been developed for small-grain harvesting. The first mechanical cotton picker was patented in 1850, but, due to the supply of cheap labor, cotton harvesters did not gain acceptance until after World War II. Labor shortages have led to the development of a variety of harvesters adapted for almost every kind of agricultural crop, including tomatoes, grapes, nuts, cucumbers, and root crops, e.g., beets and potatoes. The most common exceptions are certain tree fruits. Nuts and some fruits, such as figs, are allowed to mature and fall to the ground where they are mechanically picked up. Hydraulic shakers have also been developed so that nuts and fruits, such as apricots, grapes, and plums, can be shaken from the tree or vine onto the ground or onto nets or belts. With some plants, such as tomatoes, special varieties have had to be developed that can withstand mechanical contact. The culinary quality of crops developed for mechanical harvesting is presently the cause of concern by consumer groups.

Bibliography

See C. Culpin, Farm Machinery (11th ed. 1986).

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picker

[′pik·ər]
(mining engineering)
An employee who picks or discards slate and other foreign matter from the coal in an anthracite breaker or at a picking table.
A mechanical arrangement for removing slate from coal.
(textiles)
A machine used to pull apart and separate cotton fibers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Women cotton pickers must be covered with health insurance and social security program.
It will ensure that all those involved in recruitment will have the information and tools needed to ensure that cotton pickers are engaged in conformity with international labour standards.
Two friends were along to help load and move the picker on a trailer, but once Gus got it started, he drove it the 32 miles from Gurley to Huntland, stopping along the way to pump the new tire and replace the replacement that had gone flat.
But Nondeyi does not work in a law firm or court he is a waste picker. Cindy Govender explains.
"Rag pickers, due to constant exposure to toxic waste and gases from filth and dumpsters, are prone to skin allergies, worm infestation and respiratory diseases," Satish Koul, general physician at Gurgaon's Columbia Asia Hospital, told IANS.
But the unions want better conditions for pickers. Polarica, a big company for frozen berries, has suggested afair tradea certification, so that consumers can choose berries picked only by workers who have been treated and paid well.
At Rio where she addressed rag pickers from Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Peru at the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers conference, she was surprised to learn that these countries used incinerators to destroy waste.
Through the years, the use of large trailers became common as picker capacity increased.
BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-June 22, 2011--ICRA gives LBB/"stable" rating to fund-based cash credit limits of Gujarat Pickers Industries(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com
Ahmedabad, Jan 28 (ANI): Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday said that the government should give priority to save the job of the women rag pickers.
As it states, this is where all of the information about pickers is entered and stored.
For the conduct of this research, a combination of questionnaire survey and ethnographic interviews was used to elicit information on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the waste pickers and dealers.