Coffee is one of Brazil’s biggest crops. Brazil’s favorable climate helps coffee beans ripen and be ready for picking during a concentrated period of weeks. This makes mechanical harvesting an economically reasonable choice.
So much mechanization, however, comes with its challenges. Tiago de Oliveira Tavares is an agronomist at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil. He and his colleagues perked up at the opportunity to brew some coffee-growing solutions.
Up to 20% of coffee berries fall to the ground. This can be due to the mechanical harvesting process as well as other causes, including rain, wind, disease, and pests. This “ground coffee” is retrieved through a process of mechanical sweeping and picking.