When the time comes to harvest, it's important to choose a suitable method to maximize the yield and minimize losses. Many farmers have difficulties at harvesting and handling their crops. They have to know the exact time for harvest, because harvesting period and the duration affect the quality, durability, transportation and storage of harvested crops. A farmer's ability to successfully harvest and handle his fruits could be the difference between financial success and failure.
Why Is Proper Harvest Important?
The goal of good harvesting is to maximize crop yield and minimize any crop losses and quality deterioration. Harvesting can be done manually, using hands or knifes and it can be done mechanically with the use of rippers, combine harvesters or other machines. Regardless of the method farmers use, several guidelines should be followed to ensure that harvest losses are minimum and crop quality is perserved during harvest operations, such as harvest time, method, duration and postharvest procesess.
Different Harvesting Systems
There are four harvesting systems that use farmers all over the world:
- Manual system; includes the use of traditional tools (hand cutting, hand threshing, animals for trampling)
- Manual harvesting with mashine threshing; combination of manual and machine power
- Machine harvesting with mashine threshing; possible use of manual power
- Combine harvesting; all harvesting operations are done with combine, no need for manual power. It's the most efficient tool, rezults in the lowest losses but it's expensive and requires large field areas.
When to Harvest?
It's important to know when to harvest since the correct time of harvest is crucial in preventing crop losses. Losses can be also caused by field animals, plant diseases, insect pests or certain weather conditions. Timely harvesting ensure good crop quality and market value. Harvesting too early or too late will result in larger percentage of unfaild or imature/premature fruits which will result in lower yield.
There are different methods farmers can use to determine the right time for harvesting: moisture content of grains, sugar and nutrient content of fruits, visual properties of mature fruits (color, scent, size), counting of the vegetation season days caracteristic for each variety, etc.
Well-known adage is that the quality of fruits occurs in the farm, where certainly a significant role plays the application of modern agricultural practices. Provided that all measures have been implemented in the best way, the time and method of harvesting have a significant impact on the quality and sustainability of the products.
The organization of modern crop production is unthinkable without regular record keeping of all agro-technical measures, from planting to harvesting and storage of finished products, which you can do easily with Agrivi farm management system. There you can maintain a complete records of your employees, inventory, finance and the best practice processes will reveal how and when to perform a particular activity, such as when to start harvesting. The goal of good harvesting is to maximize your yield, so make sure to harvest at the right time.
Text source: Rice Knowledge Bank Videos