Crop Grading!

 Advanced vs simple

You get to choose!

potato_crop 

Grading your crop is not an option. In fact it’s an essential step in post harvest management. Grading directly affects the market value of the product. But grading is not a simple subject because it requires the producer to decide which criteria are going to be used and how the grading is going to be done.

In general, the more sophisticated the grading, the higher the market price that the produce can command. Essentially every producer has to ask and answer the question. How will my grading system affect my product conformance to market grades and standards and the final price of my crop?

So lets take a look at the grading issue and the options that are available to producers.

Grading basically falls into two camps: Simple and Advanced.

 

SIMPLE GRADING:

This involves grading by only two categories, size and visual quality. A belt or roller grader does the size grading while a manual line, quality grades. This system has advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of simple grading are just that. It’s simple and belt and roller graders are less expensive than advanced graders. It also provides employment to farming communities.

The disadvantage is that while the size grading is reasonably accurate the quality and speed of visual grading relies on the human eye and is often subject to the effects of fatigue, boredom, lack of motivation and labour issues.

Belt and roller graders

Belt and roller graders use various combinations of belts or rollers to size vegetables such as potatoes, onions, beetroot and carrots. Machines can be supplied by Goldpack and are manufactured by world-class companies such as Haith and Emve.

Belt and roller graders offer a wide range of complexity and can be adjusted to accommodate multiple sizes (and in the case of carrots, length and diameter) and product flows. In the case of carrots one would use a length grader to grade for length and diameter, to grade for diameter.

Roller graders work on the principle of larger and larger spaces between the rollers as the crop progresses down the line. That allows one machine to process the crops in a single pass and permits a wide variation of sizing. These can also be supplied with outflow feeders so that various sizes are streamed off immediately.

Belt graders use an endless belt or belts, but unlike roller graders do not offer such a wide range of sizing.

Neither machine offers grading by quality. On the contrary, defective produce must be removed via manual line before or after size grading.

emve_logo

EMVE Simple Belt Grader
EMVE Simple Belt Grader
EMVE Simple Roller Grader
EMVE Simple Roller Grader

 

 

Advanced grading:

Involves grading optically using multiple cameras, which gather information and sort produce according to preselected criteria. These machines offer an efficiency and accuracy that is unmatched by simple graders.

The advantages of the system are speed, accuracy, wide grading options and total consistency. Fatigue, boredom and labour issues become a thing of the past, as the system is totally automatic. However, optical graders (view video) are more expensive than belt or roller graders and while they tend to reduce labour costs they also reduce employment opportunities. 

Advanced graders such as the Newtec Celox XTP (view video) grade according to length, diameter and volume and can grade up to 15 tons per hour into 6 sizes. The system also grades according to quality using a camera that photographs each crop 40 times and can spot and remove a wide range of surface damage and discolouration.

newtec_logo

RV12 Celox Optical Grader
RV12 Celox Optical Grader
Grade the Quality
Grade the Quality

Answering the question!

We have highlighted some of the issues around grading in fairly simple terms however most producers require more information than we can deal with here. If you would like to discuss your choice of grader, Goldpack are here to help. Give us a call and we will send one of our friendly reps to come and see you.