What are the differences between the Standard, Hi-Line, and Maxi KOKAN500S types?

Hi-Line and Maxi models are used when there is a need for increased tunnel dimensions and higher capacity (combined with RotoProtect innovative orchard protection) in contrast to the Standard type.

Is it necessary to have a plantation arranged specifically for this machine to work?

Preferred plantation characteristics in terms of optimized Air harvesting are:         

– Field slope (%) – 12% (tractor with double traction);

– Row spacing (m) – minimum 2,2m (blueberry);

– Space at end of row required for harvester with a tractor (m) – more than 7m.

What is the operating speed for high-quality harvesting?

Operating speed for the high-quality harvesting is from 0.3 to 1.5 km/h.       

What is the harvesting capacity?

For the Standard and Hi-Line type harvesting capacity is from 2 to 4 ha per day (12h) and for the Maxi type from 3 to 5 ha per day (12h).   

How long has the company existed?

BSK Air Technologies (Serbia) is a company that has been engaged in the field of research, development, design, and sales of innovative products since 2003.

How long has the KOKAN harvester been on the market?

Air Jet Berry harvester KOKAN500S has been on the market since 2013. 

What tractor power is required to pull the harvester?

The net weight of the harvester is approximately 3.7t for Standard type, 3.8t Hi-Line, and 3.9t Maxi type. Tractors of 40 or more hp (horsepower) can be used on flat terrain. Higher slopes require a tractor with dual traction and higher power <50hp.

What is the price?

If you leave us information about your plantation characteristics using our online form, we will send you an offer within 72 hours. 

Do you have service and spare parts for the machine?

You will be covered during the warranty period and after the warranty period by our customer support. The team goes out to the field in the case of regular or emergency service. The price depends on the distance and volume of work.

What are the warranty terms?

The engine and hydraulics guarantee is transferable, i.e. covered with a worldwide guarantee, where rights and obligations are transferred to the end-user. For other parts please contact us and we will inform you regarding the type of spare parts. There is a possibility to use the services of a local authorized service office during and after the warranty expires.        

          For diesel engine – 24 months (up to 1000 working h/y or 36 months up to 500 working h/y);

          For hydraulic components – 12 months;

          For other parts and components – 24 months;

          The warranty does not cover: wearing parts of rubber, plastic, and other parts that are easily damaged.

What are the operating costs per 1 kg?

The speed of harvesting ranges from 0.3 to 1.5 km/h depending on the variety and plantation arrangement. The fuel consumption of the harvester is 7 to 1 4 l/h (depends on the type and variety of the fruit) and a minimum of two employees are required to replace the crates, manually throw out the crates, the small portion of leaves, etc. 

Operating expenditures are different for different fruits. For blueberry (first class), harvesting cost is cca 0,15E/kg.

What are the differences in comparison to other harvesters on the market?

Some of the differences in comparison to other harvesters on the market are:

  •         Possibility of harvesting in the dew and after the rain. Harvester operates as a dryer, pulling out excess moisture and doesn’t cause decay after harvesting;
  •         Also, there is a possibility of early harvesting, when there is a higher percentage of green berries in comparison to mature ones. “Cleaning – the final harvest”;

·         It is not as expensive as harvesters with traditional technology.

What are the differences with other harvesting methods?

  In addition to the Air pulsation technique, we have also developed pneumatic pillows for soft berry reception on catchers, which are eliminating internal damage and allowing placement on the fresh market (blueberry);

  •         Up to 95% of the harvested fruits (blueberries) are 1st class and can be marketed fresh;
  •         Multifunctionality, i.e. the ability to harvest different types and varieties of fruits by simply adjusting the harvester parameters;
  •         Selective harvesting of ripe fruits with a small percentage of greens;
  •         The possibility of harvesting from the beginning of the season, when the unripe berries are more present than the ripe ones;
  •         Ability to harvest the same row on a daily basis without any damage to the plant;

·         There is no damage to the delicate branches of the plant and therefore there is no reduction in yield.

What are the benefits of Air Jet harvesting compared to manual (by hand) picking?

The benefits of Air Jet harvesting compared to manual picking are:

  •         Manual picking requires labour, which automatically increases the cost to the farmer and reduces the speed of picking the fruit;
  •         Substitutes up to 200 pickers a day – Harvester is harvesting 10 tons per 12 hours/1 shift, one picker is picking manually around 50 kg, which means that there is a need for 200 pickers in order to manually pick 10 tons;
  •         Due to the contactless harvesting, it complies with Food Safety Standards (HACCP); 
  •         Increases net production yield in kilograms, in terms that Air Jet harvester is harvesting based on the percentage of dry substance, not based on the color of the berry. Mature berry is 15% more heavy than immature one;
  •         Prevents the onset and development of the disease. The root cause of the disease is moisture, it exudes excess moisture, insects; does not cause injury, therefore the berry cannot be infected;
  •         Due to the fact that manual pickers are not required, it enables harvesting to the extended economic viability;
  •         Increases dry matter of harvested fruit by 50% over manually picked fruits. In regards to blackberries, the percentage of dry substances is 50%. With manually picked blueberry, the percentage of dry substance is 12%, mechanically harvested percentage of dry substance is 14%. The average Brix of manually picked blueberry is 12%, average Brix of Air Jet harvested blueberry is 14%.
What is the Company procedure in terms of installation and commissioning?

The Company is providing a video manually with detailed directions in terms of harvester assembly and use.

What do you recommend in terms of blueberry harvesting?

Recommendations for blueberry plantation arrangement:

  •         Space between rows: about 2,2 m;
  •         Space at the end of the line (for turning with a tractor): minimum 7 m;
  •         Plant height: minimum 1 m;
  •         Plant base width: up to 30 cm;
  •         The width of the plant in the crown: up to 1,4 m;
  •         The lowest branches from the soil: 35 cm.
Do you have experience with harvesting haskap?

We have Air harvested haskap and some of the observations are:

  •         Quality of harvested berries are on the level of manually picked or even better – it could be placed to the fresh market;
  •         Haskap berries are harvested in one pass, no berries remain on the branches of the plant;
  •         The level of purification of the fruit is 98%;
  •         The level of berries spillage to the ground depends upon the plantation arrangement level, i.e. from the plant width at the base (if the base is more narrow, catching is better).
Do you have experience with harvesting in pots?

Harvesting in pots behaves the same as harvesting blueberries in the ground or soil-beds, the only thing is that the harvester needs to be levelled, raised for the height of the pots (by some 30 cm). Since the tunnel is free, there are no plastic sticks that push the canopy, the pots do not fall, but it is desirable that the pots have a certain weight and that they are stable.

What is the lowest position of the catcher in relation to the ground?

The lowest position of the catchers is 25 cm from the ground.

How does the harvester do on the side hills and slopes, while harvesting?

Harvester has an independent lift – left and right side. For example, it is possible to lift the right side 30cm from the ground and the ladder 10cm, during harvest. All commands are available in the tractor cabin.

What are the suspenders used for?

Suspenders’ montage on the back of the tunnel is aiming to reduce the effect of the bush’s sudden spread and falling down the fruits after the harvester has passed. Available for overall harvester types: Standard, Hi-line, and Maxi.

  1. Picking speed – a maximum capacity that you could count on depends on the quantity of fruit that could be harvested, therefore 1t of blueberry per hour.
  2. Quality of the final product, available for fresh fruit? Around 95% of harvested blueberries are for the fresh market, almost as manually picked. As per the other berries (raspberry, blackberry, black currant, haskap, goji berry) they could be used for the fresh market, but are mainly intended for processing.
  3. % discard – the percentage of green is around 3%.
  4. Level of impurities on the final product – impurities are being purified by the air stream before fruits are placed into crates. The efficiency of purification depends on the condition of the planted area, but it is around 98%. If a leaf falls into the crate, the operator on the crates throws it out by his hand.

Loses of fruit in the process – the percentage of spilled berries is 5%-15% and it depends on the width of the base and the operator.