Farmer Heinz-Wilhelm Tölkes shows potatoes that come fresh from the ground. Photo: Norbert Prümen
Kempen. In the farmers’ fields it is becoming empty. Currently, the potato harvest determines the picture. For this purpose, the red and white cabbage harvest is in full swing. Beets and beetroot join in.
The days are getting shorter, the work is increasing. This is at least the case with farmers, who have a focus on potato, red and white cabbage cultivation. The harvest of these agricultural crops is in full swing.
After the herb killing of the potatoes has been carried out, the potatoes have matured in the soil and have formed a solid shell, now the roders are in use. “A roder always takes two rows with it at the same time. It lifts the whole dam,” explains farmer Carolin Schleupen. The discarded potatoes run over various sieve belts on which the soil is screened. The foliage, meanwhile, goes away via a herb band. All roders have a so-called reading table, where it can still be sorted by hand to remove stones, other foreign bodies, but also green tubers. Then we go from the harvester to the bulk bunker, where the potatoes are collected. This is followed by a refill on the trailers.
Rain The rain, which continues to set in, interrupts the potato harvest. If the soil becomes too moist, too much wet soil adheres to the potatoes. It is important that the potatoes come to the camp as dry as possible.
Ingredients Potatoes are low in calories. 100 grams of potatoes correspond to an energy volume of about 294 kilojoules (70 kilocalories). They consist of around 20 percent carbohydrates (starch), two percent protein and 0.8 to 1.7 percent fiber. Its minerals and trace elements include sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron. The vitamins are mainly vitamin C, vitamin A and the vitamins of the B group.
When reloading, you have to work gently so that the potatoes do not get any bruises. If a potato falls too hard, there are. Potatoes live. The spots form after about twelve hours. The bruises have no effect on the taste, but they don’t look beautiful. “That’s why we either work with drop sails that take the momentum away or lay out mattresses on the trailers,” Schleupen informs.
When the trailer is full, direct transport is carried out to the so-called surface storage. Unlike the crate warehouses, where the potatoes are stored in boxes intended for retail sale, the industrial goods are stored loosely in the warehouses – potatoes from which fries, chips or other finished products are made. In the surface bearings there are either ventilation ducts with holes, or they are crevice floors through which the air is fed.
Good ventilation of the potatoes is important, whereby “we have four phases of ventilation,” says Schleupen. The first phase is dehydration. The freshly come from the earth apples are partly moist, and this provides a good base for rotting pathogens such as mushrooms. Therefore, the potatoes must dry as quickly as possible. The second phase is used for wound healing. If there is slight damage, the shell corks at temperatures of 12 to 15 degrees. The potato protects itself. In the third phase, the cooling is initiated to the storage temperature of seven to nine degrees. The stacking temperature must also be reached so that the soil seam does not start to germinate. In phase four, it is said to keep the temperature for permanent storage. In the surface bearings there are temperature sensors in various places, which display the temperature on the computer. The computer can be used to control the ventilation of the entire warehouse.
“Even if the ventilation is computer-controlled and you get a lot of information about it, the stack must still be kept in mind. Regular inspections are a must,” says farmer Heinz-Wilhelm Tölkes. For ventilation in the surface bearings, outdoor and circulating air is used.
In addition to the potato harvest, the red and white cabbage harvest is in full swing, which is also completely technical in most farms. The harvest of beets as well as beets will follow in the next few days. Here, too, grubbing-up is being made. While the sowing for the winter barley has already been completed, the sowing of winter wheat continues until mid-November. “The crops that then stand in the fields are not grass, as many people wrongly assume. It is the grain for the 2021 harvest,” says Schleupen.
There is also arable grass, which was sown in September. For the layman it is difficult to distinguish whether it is grass or grain, which grows in the fields in delicate green. It is important in both cases: it is a food or feed and therefore an area that does not serve leisure time. In addition, farmers are sowing grassland. The wet and cooler days are an ideal time to rework on the meadows.