Mapping apple quality using supply chain information
The Fresh Produce industry is by nature competitive, and the demand for high quality consistent products requires technologies and methods to describe and manage the high degree of variability which is inherent in Horticultural crops. An opportunity exists to use Supply Chain Information to measure the quality and value of fruit, and a range of exploratory and Precision Horticulture methods may be used to create a higher level of understanding for growers than the existing reporting method. In this study an orchard block was divided into sectors, and the position of harvest was noted for a sample of harvested field bins. At the time of packing, data collected from the fruit sizer, and quality control records, was analysed using exploratory statistical methods (e.g. residual analysis), and spatial maps. This provided information with a high level of meaning on which the grower could base his orchard practices in order to manage the factors underlying variation. The real value of this information was realized when it was presented to the grower, and with his technical consultant further analysis of the block was undertaken. Specific recommendations were made to control a problem with tree vigour (branch growth) in the block and remedial actions were taken with a successful outcome.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsapple quality; supply chain; precision horticulture; postharvest process; fruit quality data
Fields of Research070605 Post Harvest Horticultural Technologies (incl. Transportation and Storage); 0706 Horticultural Production; 140302 Econometric and Statistical Methods
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