Post-Harvest Handling Decision Tool

Blanchard, Chris. 2013. Post-Harvest Handling Decision ToolLeopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture Program.

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Produced out of Iowa State’s 2007-2011 Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Working Group addressing issues limiting the growth of fruit and vegetable growers in the state, the Post-Harvest Handling Decision Tool can be found at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s website. This guide goes over crop handling immediately after harvest including cooling, cleaning, sorting and packing of harvested crops to ensure future quality and safety. More specifically steps to reduce field temperature to extend shelf life and protect nutrient value, minimize moisture loss/shrinkage, avoid physical damage, as well as practice proper sanitation throughout each step. The information prepared came out of a case study of three Midwestern farms. Crop types are discussed separately as they have different ideal ranges of storage temperature, humidity and equipment/cleaning considerations. Pack facility considerations are also included followed by a summary of the featured case-study vegetable farms.

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