After harvesting a potato crop, it is usually stored for a different time depending on the rhythm and the quantities utilized. Depending on the condition of the tubers at the time of harvesting and the duration of storage, appropriate storage conditions and conditions must be provided. The main purpose of proper storage is to minimize losses and preserve the quality of the tubers until their capitalization.
Keeping potatoes is as important as producing them. The potato tuber contains about 75% water, because of this it becomes very ill during storage of so-called “storage disease” wet rot, dry rot, rot caused by potato mash etc.
Tuberculous wet rot – Erwinia carotovora pv. atroseptica
It is a common bacteria in all potato cultivation countries in Europe and America. Plants from infected tubers remain small, they snap, do not produce tubers, or they are infected by wet rot. In section through the affected tuber there is a pink-violet coloration of the dish ring. At a more advanced stage, the tuber forms caves full of bacterial mucilage, which emit unpleasant odor, and the tuber pulp is completely decomposed.
F. coeruleum penetrates through wounds or small scratches caused by nematodes in tubers and evolves in badly aerated deposits where temperatures rise (15-28 ° C) and humidity is high (50-80%). The attack is manifested on tubers, where brown spots appear, in which the tissue is soft. The tuber pulp rotates and gets brown, then dries and strengthens. Gradually, the attacking tube buckles, shrinks
the volume, the pulp turning into a hard, white, yellowish-white mass.
Potato Hand – Phytophthora infestans
Mana manifests itself on all airborne organs of potatoes and tubers. On the attacked tubers, the hand appears in the form of brown, brownish or bluish spots, in which the tuber’s skin is slightly dipped. Stains have varied sizes and shapes and rarely cover the entire surface of the tuber.
Proper storage of potatoes
Though the potato tuber can become ill easily, it has developed over time some mechanisms to ensure its resistance to storage.
First, it has a thick shell that contributes to the reduction of gas exchange and protects the tuber quite well from the attack of microorganisms. Secondly, it contains in the shell and in the next layer a substance (solanine) that helps to heal wounds quickly and to protect some pests. In order to ensure better protection during storage, two essential operations must be carried out at the same time as harvesting.
The first is to increase the resistance to keeping tubers under the influence of light. For this, the tubers do not collect immediately after harvest, but they are left
on the ground in the light of the day, 6 – 7 hours. Once the potatoes are collected, they are also sorted. Those injured during harvesting, suspects that they are sick, like small tubers, are seated separately and used immediately in animal feed.
The temperature in the ware potatoes for consumption should be kept between 3-4 ° C. At lower temperatures, potatoes are soaked, and at -1 ° C they freeze. At higher temperatures, they clog and wrinkle if the air humidity is low as a result of dehydration. Keep in the light, the potatoes turn green, become bitter and toxic to animals and humans.
There are substances in the form of a powder that prevent germination, but potatoes intended for the seed will not be treated with such substances. For the uniform airing of the tubers, they are not crowded, down in the cellar, but they are furnished with planks. The distance between the boards must be 2 cm, to ensure good air circulation.
Also for this purpose, from the surface of the cellar, respectively the cellar, to the base of the box, leave a range of 15-20 cm. Also, at the wall where the window is attached, a distance between the wall of the box and the basement of the cell is left, even 15-20 cm. In a well-arranged cell, potatoes can be placed in a 2-2.5 m high layer, while without such arrangements, the thickness of the potato layer should not exceed 1-1.2 m.
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Aeration should be done with great care, especially in the first days after storage, when tubers sweat more intensely. In winter, care must be taken to make the air only the day, only three to four hours when the outside air temperature is 1 ° C.
Regardless of how it is stored – in cellars, in cellars, in silos, in special warehouses, ventilation is a measure of great importance. Since post-harvesting, vital physiological and biochemical processes in the tuber continue, all the operations that are done during storage are intended to make these processes as slow as possible – above all, breathing. Under normal storage conditions, in addition to the carbon dioxide being formed, there is also an appreciable amount of heat, about 2.5 kcal per tonne and hour, which increases the temperature in the tuber mass, which speeds up breathing, causing damage potatoes. For this reason, breathing should be as close as possible to the minimum, which is achieved by conducting the temperature by venting. By venting or moving the air, it is refreshed, the heat and water vapor are released, and the breath is released.