Potato Harvest and Storage
2,5 to 4 months after planting, the potatoes are ready to be harvested. Potatoes are harvested through modern potato harvesting machines that are attached to tractors. The machines harvest the potatoes by lifting the potatoes from the bed using a share. Soil, dirt, rocks and potatoes are transferred onto a series of webs where the potatoes are finally separated from the foreign materials.
A widely used pre harvesting technique is called “killing”. Many farmers “kill” the potato plants by stopping all irrigation, by mechanical means and/or by spraying chemicals and thus literally killing the upper part of the plants. After killing the plants, they let the potatoes in the ground for another 10-14 days before harvesting. In this way, the skin of potatoes becomes thick, something that is preferred by certain markets for various reasons (the potatoes can be transported with a lower risk of bruising etc.).
After harvested, potatoes are stored in a cool but not freezing (40°F/4.4°C) dark, humid place. Potatoes can generally be stored for several months in proper conditions. Commercial potato growers store their potatoes in huge buildings built especially for storing potatoes. Specialized air circulation systems keep the temperature and humidity as uniform as possible in the pile.
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7. Potato Harvest and Storage
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