Progress in mechanization of wine grapes… economic factors
THE USDA'S ECONOMIC RESEARCH Service and the University of California, Davis, are cooperating in an economic analysis of the mechanical harvesting of wine grapes. Machine harvesting of grapes in California began in 1969 and expanded to over 100 machines in the 1972 harvest. Just before the 1973 harvest, an initial survey was made which included 37 growers who owned grape harvesting machines and 40 growers who used hand labor for harvesting grapes. The study analyzed the effect of substituting machines for labor, provided current information on the status of mechanization, and gave farmers some background information to help them adjust to the changing technology. Some preliminary observations are given here, from a full report to be published later this year.