Reduce Bruising at Harvest for a Better Crop (09/01/16)
Reduce Bruising at Harvest for a Better Crop
Last year we conducted a survey to examine the number of blemishes to red and yellow fresh market potatoes. One of the most common blemishes found in North Dakota and Minnesota was bruising/skinning of tubers. Careful handling during harvest can reduce wounds, which will reduce the risk of disease. Wounds caused by bruising and mechanical damage at harvest or during handling provide entry sites for infection of many diseases including bacterial soft rot, Fusarium dry rot, leak, late blight and pink rot. To reduce bruising at harvest, train operators about minimizing drops, properly maintain equipment with padded chains, adjust equipment to have uniform flow of potatoes, keep drops to a minimum, harvest when temperatures are between 50-65 °F, and ensure that harvest equipment is clean. Have a great harvest!
NDSU/U of M Extension Potato Agronomist