Resources for Quality Improvement Now Available Online

Published online: Sep 08, 2018 Articles, Potato Harvesting
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Source: Idaho Potato Commission/University of Idaho

Harvesting a quality crop is an important topic on everybody’s mind for the upcoming season. Blackspot bruise and shatter bruise, or open wounds such as of nicks, cuts and abrasions are quality issues to focus on and minimize at harvest. Most potato handling operations are performed by equipment, but there is almost always a human factor involved in managing that equipment in a way that minimizes bruising.  Taking time to educate employees about bruise prevention should be a standard part of growers’ harvest preparation. 

As part of an Idaho Potato Commission-funded quality project, the University of Idaho potato program has posted employee training resources on its website under the “Bruise Management” tab. These resources include popular articles, bulletins and two recently added videos on windrower and harvester operation. These videos will be especially valuable for employees that are new to operating harvesting equipment. They emphasize how to adjust forward speed, conveyor speed and drop heights to minimize bruise damage. The videos are only three to four minutes long, but cover the basic operating principles and show overhead and up-close viewpoints so that equipment operators can see what machinery should look like when operating properly.

Special thanks go to Travis Blacker and Bill Schaefer for providing the video footage, Jason Thomas (Minidoka County Extension Educator) for the narration, and Bill Schaefer for editing it all into the final product.

The initial videos are available in English; there is also a link provided where viewers can download the video narration in English or Spanish. A Spanish version of the videos will be posted shortly.

All these training materials are available at https://www.uidaho.edu/cals/potatoes.