There are two methods of harvesting lowbush blueberries - hand harvesting, using a metal rake or machine harvesting. Depending on yield, a good raker can harvest five hundred to one thousand pounds in one day. Pickers are paid an average of 10 to 12 cents per pound. A number of different machine harvesters are available. The most common harvester used is the Bragg Blueberry Harvester. The harvester is mounted on a two or four-wheel drive tractor. It is normally operated with one tractor operator and one other worker who rides on the back of the harvester. A thirty-five horsepower tractor will provide ample power for the harvester. Power is delivered to the harvester from the tractor, which drives the motor of a self-contained hydraulic system.
Blueberries are stripped from the bushes with a one-meter wide harvesting head. The harvester performs best on level ground, free of weeds and rocks. A harvester can harvest 2.5 to 3.0 acres per ten-hour day.
How the Plant Grows