In the field, workers operate potato harvesters, made by the German company Grimme. The technology is common among area growers and specifically designed for wet soil, he said.
The machines are mounted onto tractors. After the machines scoop potatoes from the ground, the potatoes fall onto a web where loose dirt falls back to the ground
The company’s largest machine can harvest four rows at once, Wisdom said. He said he sees technology continuing to evolve. “I think in our lifetime there will be automated potato harvesting equipment,” Wisdon said.
At the company’s packing and shipping plant, there is more technology, such as a machine that scans the potatoes and discards imperfect or meager spuds. Wisdom said workers can program the machine to reject undesirable features, such as those green in color or with blemishes.
These “cull” potatoes don’t go to waste. Wisdom said they are shipped to a plant and turned into dehydrated potato.
After another machine separates potatoes by size — small, medium, large and extra large — and a second sort takes place, with workers inspecting potatoes at a detailed level.
Washington state potato technology! I want you all to know that I am suppressing my desire to further potatopost, because the topic of potatoes is dense with the kind of cultural-historic Fun Facts to which I am particularly vulnerable.
But did you know that potato cultivation in Washington on the wet side predated significant cultivation east of the –
That’s enough, Maya.
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