Ethrel sprays reduce number of pickings in hand-harvested cantaloupes
MUCH OF OUR PRESENT RESEARCH effort is directed towards mechanizing the harvesting of our California vegetable crops. This is as true for cantaloupes as it is for asparagus, lettuce, and fresh market tomatoes. Agricultural engineers and plant scientists generally agree that mechanical harvesting of cantaloupes on a commercial scale is still several years in the future. The principal obstacle to machine harvesting of cantaloupes has been the absence of a variety which will mature fruit of acceptable quality in a determinate manner so that the crop can be harvested in a single once-over operation much the way canning tomatoes are harvested.