The Sicilian production of hazelnut (Corylus avellana) is important as regards both quantity and quality and, therefore, great attention should be paid to the protection of mountainous areas, where the abandoning of cultivation would provoke serious damage. The critical point in the cultivation process is represented by mechanical harvesting, which is greatly impeded by the irregular surface of the land and the widespread presence of coppiced trunks often with irregular formats. This work presents the results of mechanical harvesting during the 2004 season, showing their relationship with the territorial conditions and pointing out the reciprocal influence of the machinery and the various environmental conditions. Methods Hazelnut cultivation is widespread in the provinces of Palermo, Messina and Catania. Field work was carried out in the production areas of the “Mt Etna Hazelnut” and the “Nebrodian Hazelnut”, these areas together constituting 95% of the surface of Sicily producing hazelnuts. The studies regarded manual and mechanical harvesting, with gathering up from the ground of the nuts. The division of the work into separate stages was based on the dictates of CIOSTA and the AIGR recommendations. The composition of the machinery and the organisation of the work were observed and noted, and the work capacity, the productivity of the workers and the extent of manageable areas were calculated. Once the unit cost per surface unit and product unit had been determined, profit thresholds could be indicated and their relationship with the various territorial and agronomic conditions studied pointed out. Expected results The findings relative to the performance of the machinery and to the topographical and agronomic conditions in the areas concerned, on one hand permit a classification of the Corylus areas based on the practical possibilities of mechanisation and on the other an estimate of the machinery performance levels attainable in the various conditions studied, thus making it possible to calculate profit thresholds and make reasonable forecasts regarding the maintenance of the crop and more in general the utilisation of the territory.
|Titolo:||The Mechanical Harvesting of Hazelnuts in the Hill and Mountain Regions of Sicily|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|