I had never been to a watermelon operation before, so this behind-the-sᴄᴇɴᴇs tour was quite intriguing for me. Regarding the watermelon packing operations in the Southeast United States, there are numerous heated discussions in the agricultural sector. So I made the decision to visit a watermelon farm to see for myself. The watermelon harvest and packing film that follows is what I saw at the Californian Bowles Farming Company.
In order to automate the watermelon harvesting procedure, Bowles Farming Company is currently researching new technology. All watermelon harvesting is done by hand in the interim. In the field, there were two different ᴍᴇᴛʜods of harvesting and packing watermelons: harvesting into boxes and harvesting into bulk cardboard bins.
Depending on the customer and what they required, they are picked and packed differently on the field. For instance, you might be familiar with the two watermelons per bag scenario if you frequently shop at Costco. The harvesters are just plucking up the watermelons from the ground in the video down below, as you’ll see. They are able to do this because a cutting crew cut all of the watermelons in the field in advance, requiring only the harvest team to lift the melons and deliver them to the packers.
The watermelons are harvested and put on the packing tables of the harvesting rig for the initial watermelon harvest and packaging procedure. The watermelons are then packed into the boxes, or first into bags, then boxes. All of the watermelons are given sticker labels before being transported on a conveyor to the nearby trailer to be packed.
I had never seen anything like the second option for harvesting and packing watermelons. The harvesters were picking up the watermelons and throwing them up to a marker that was perched atop a flatbed truck in the fields, much like shooting a basketball. I was truly astounded by everything about this because they made it seem so simple. However, both the harvesters and the packers must be subjected to extraordinarily strenuous physical labor.
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Video resource: B Technology