The smartphone as a helper for manual thinning

February 1, 2023

The smartphone as a helper in hand thinning

The smartphone already supports us in all kinds of processes. Why not in fruit growing as well?

An intensive spring is already behind the fruit growers with work steps such as tree pruning, fertilization measures and pest control. However, the time for important measures in the plants is far from over. Shortly after fruit fall, the first manual thinning already follows. Almost 15% of the annual workload is spent on manual thinning as an important preparation for achieving the right fruit quality. What if technology could give you a hand?

The smartphone as a practical support

Around the numerous measures and activities in fruit growing, a few companies are already developing solutions to support fruit growers and producers. Drones fly over the plants and record their status, often in combination with a myriad of sensors or other high-tech devices. But: this is complex and costs money. Pixofarm is now making the latest technologies easily accessible and usable by developing a smartphone application that supports fruit growers with important decisions and measures in fruit growing. That's because the Pixofarm app makes it effortless and accurate to record tree hanging, measure fruit size and growth, and estimate expected yield.

More accurate control with the Pixofarm app

After June fruit drop, the first manual thinning takes place. This is an important quality-enhancing measure, as many variety-specific fruit sizes and also many internal qualities of the fruit can only be achieved with optimum hanging. Depending on the planting distance, the optimal number of fruits on the trees differs. An easy to remember rule of thumb: 1 fruit per cm of tree spacing.

In order to coordinate and monitor hand thinning, many orchardists manually count the hangings on a few representative trees. This is very time consuming and often inaccurate. Pixofarm supports fruit growers here quite simply. Only a selection of trees needs to be photographed with the smartphone and the average fruit amount per tree and block is displayed. This eliminates the need for time-consuming and inaccurate manual slope counts before and after hand thinning. Fruit growers save time, can count many more trees and get more accurate results. In combination with other Pixofarm services, such as size measurement and yield estimation, this not only allows various measures to be taken during the season to increase growth rate and yield, but also allows logistical measures to be better organized weeks before harvest and higher prices to be negotiated for the harvest.

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