AbstractTotal field losses of coffee beans in four 8- to 10-year-old intensively-managed commercial plantations consistently yielding over 1,500 pounds of picked market coffee per acre, averaged 931 pounds of market coffee worth over $600 per acre during the 1967 and 1968 crop years. An average of 12 percent of the total ripe berries produced are lost by dropping to the ground during actual picking operations. Strips of plastic netting laid on the ground under the trees during harvesting could recover this coffee (over 200 pounds of a 2,000-pound crop) with a net benefit to the farmer of about $87 per acre yearly. Laborers harvested about 50 percent more coffee by dislodging ripe berries to fall on netting laid on the ground than by the usual method of placing picked berries in baskets tied to their waists. This simple method could increase the pickers' income and reduce losses of beans falling to the ground during picking. It would also reduce losses of coffee due to labor shortages during critical periods in the picking season by increasing the efficiency of the available laborers.
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