Volume 5, Issue 2 (summer 2001)                   2001, 5(2): 195-209 | Back to browse issues page

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Any mechanical force exerted on a potato tuber during the harvesting may result in mechanical damage. A few weeks prior to harvesting, haulm destruction could improve the rheological properties of the tuber and reduce its susceptibility to mechanical damage. The effects of elevator and oscillatory sieve diggers and haulm destruction on potato loss and mechanical damage were studied on a farmer field in Fereidan region of Isfahan. Two haulm management treatments (destruction and non-destruction) along with five potato diggers (elevator digger with a long main web and with agitator, elevator digger with primary and secondary webs and with agitator, elevator digger with a main web and with/without agitator, and reciprocating riddle digger) were laid out in a strip block design within a randomized complete block design with four replications. The main crop variety, namely Marfona, was planted in the field.

The results showed that the percentages of undigged and soil-covered tubers were significantly different among the potato diggers tested. These losses were due to the dices located to the sides of shares or gage wheels and wrong adjustments on the diggers. Comparing the performance of reciprocating riddle with elevator diggers, its sieving capacity was low and the severity of the mechanical damage and the numbers of tubers covered with soil were high. Haulm destruction was effective in reducing the peeler type damage (the less than 3 mm deep damage to flesh). Although the elevator digger with a main web (elevator chain) and without agitator had the least mechanical damage index, the differences among the elevator diggers tested were not significant (5%).

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: General

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