Citrus harvest guides available in May
Two new citrus harvesting guides have been developed by NSW Department of Primary Industries that aim to improve pickers harvesting skills and make their experience and more profitable and safer.
Incorrectly harvesting citrus can damage fruit that causes in transit fruit rots; this results in a loss of income for both the picker and the grower.
Growers are also legally responsible for the safety of anyone working on their orchard. If an accident or injury occurs to a picker, growers need to demonstrate how they took reasonable action (i.e. information and/or training) to prevent the problem.
These issues are addressed into new guides; Australian fresh citrus harvest handbook and Citrus harvest exercise and nutrition guide.
The Australian fresh citrus harvest handbook helps pickers use the correct harvest procedure and also helps them pick faster and safer.
Topics covered in the handbook include:
- Preparation: what to wear, equipment and starting the day.
- Picking: mandarin and orange harvest techniques, ladder work and tools.
- Machinery: awareness of tractors and forklifts.
- Safety: personal health and procedures, and good manual lifting techniques.
- Harvest tips: work efficiently for a satisfying and productive experience.
The Citrus harvest exercise and nutrition guide provides information for pickers on how to condition their body before the harvest season starts and maintain their condition during the harvest.
It also provides information on warmup exercises to reduce the risk of injury.
The guides were developed over the past two years in consultation with industry. The author, Steven Falivene, wishes to thank all of those growers and pickers that have provided their feedback and input into the guides.
Both guides will be available in the first week in May on the NSW DPI citrus web site in the harvest section.
An A4 layout format will be available so it can efficiently be printed out on a standard home printer and a professional print ready version will also be available for those that wish to get it commercially printed into half A4 booklets.