The use of long-shaft scissors allows laborers to harvest spears in a standing posture for maintaining mother stem cultivation of asparagus. Typically, it is time-consuming and fatiguing work for laborers to find and harvest spears that emerge near the mother stems, because asparagus spears are often hidden by lateral branches of mother stems. We studied the training of asparagus branches to improve the visibility of young spears that emerge from ridges; training allows a continuous standing posture during harvest with long-shaft scissors. Firstly, the effects of branch training using strings or nets on the yield and quality of asparagus spears were investigated. We found that the yield and quality were similar, irrespective of branch training methods. Secondly, the effect of branch training on harvest work efficiency and bending of the upper body of laborers who used long-shaft scissors was evaluated. No difference was found in harvest work efficiency among the branch training methods. It was, however, observed that the bending angle of the upper bodies was decreased in laborers in their 50s or 60s when branch training with strings or nets was applied as compared to the control. Visibility of the spears was improved by training with strings or nets for laborers in their 30s, 50s, and 60s. Additionally, we compared the working efficiency of training branches with strings and nets, and found that training with strings permits reduction of the working time (21% of the work time on training with nets).
|Translated title of the contribution||Effect of Branch Training of Asparagus (<i>Asparagus officinalis</i> L.) on Yield and Harvesting Efficiency using Long-Shaft Scissors for Maintaining Mother Stem Cultivation|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|