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Post-Harvest Treatments for Effective Storage Protection

Jet-Ag® and FruitGard™ are two excellent treatment options for your post-harvest storage protection.

When your spuds are harvested and headed to storage, storage protection is top of mind for growers. IVI offers the expertise to help you decide what treatment option is best for your situation. Both Jet-Ag® and FruitGard™ offer common advantages, as well as distinct differences, for optimal storage. Both effectively kill pathogens, preventing post-harvest decay. In comparing these two options, it comes down to the science behind them, as well as the specific needs of your business. Our sales experts are available to help guide you according to your specific circumstances. We are out among growers, with regular follow up, and have amassed years of feedback. We can help you create a custom plan for your storage success.

Jet-Ag treatment has been a favored method of storage protection treatment for our customers for many years. This agricultural sanitizer is registered as a fungicide for the control of fungi, bacteria and algae. It is a broad spectrum peroxyacetic acid (PAA), combined with hydrogen peroxide. It is applied through the storage air system, and mixes with existing storage humidity, creating a vapor. Chemical bonds are disrupted within the cell membrane to achieve mortality of the threatening bacteria. It acts as a desiccant, drying off wet rot, and destroying threatening bacterial and fungal spores. The fogging method covers, protects, and sanitizes, including the storage surfaces. The reach of the fogging vapor is excellent.

Moisture is the enemy in storage. Jet-Ag utilizes any existing moisture in storage, eliminating the need to introduce any moisture with the application. With traditional treatment, potatoes have been sprayed on line with a method that uses added moisture, achieving roughly 50% coverage of all potatoes on the piler. With the Jet-Ag method, growers are seeing coverage close to 100% of their stored potatoes.

Jet-Ag is certified organic, breaking down to just water and oxygen. Treatment is considered complete after 24 hours.

Jet-Ag® is ideally applied to root crops upon storage, or at the sign of any decay issues.

Jet-Ag Storage Protection Chemical Compound illustration

Application is ideal at the moment of storage to ensure peace-of-mind protection of your harvest. However, treatment can also be applied later. Growers have applied Jet-Ag when decay is detected during the course of storage, with effective results in preventing further decay.

Casey Poulson of Poulson Farms in Aberdeen, Idaho, USA is a potato grower who turned to IVI for their Jet-Ag service, four weeks into storage, when he noticed a problem. “I was obviously concerned about my reds when I saw signs of rot after one month in storage. IVI’s fogging method dried up the rot. The price was reasonable, and I would use it again—but next time, at the start of storage!”

John Stahl of Stahl Hutterian Brethren Farm, Ritzville, Washington, saw signs of rot after filling a 10,000 ton (200,000 cwt) storage with potatoes. Stahl was concerned: “I talked to IVI and told them I thought we needed to move these spuds right away instead of keeping them in storage. They recommended we try Jet-Ag.” Stahl’s harvest was treated with Jet-Ag, keeping his spuds in storage until the ideal time to deliver them. “We later delivered the spuds and there was very minimal rot. The potatoes looked great, and we were extremely pleased with the results. We will use it again,” Stahl reported.

IVI offers expert application service of Jet-Ag for your commercial potato storage, or other root crop storage, such as onions. This eliminates the need for you to own and maintain application equipment in order to apply crop protection chemicals. Our service technicians handle the application amounts, mixing, and application. Like the sprout inhibitor CIPC, a one-time application typically gets the job done. Potato grower Kevin Burgermeister of American Falls, Idaho, USA (Driscoll Brothers II) is sold on the value of Jet-Ag: “The application is just great insurance on protecting all the effort we put into growing a high-quality potato.”

FruitGard™ treatment is another excellent option to ensure ideal storage protection for your crop.

FruitGard Storage Protection Treatment Chemical Compound illustration
FruitGard Storage Protection Treatment Chemical Compound illustration

FruitGard is a chlorine dioxide (CI02) gas fumigant, produced at a controlled rate, mixing proprietary granules. Chlorine dioxide is a water-soluble oxidizer, proven to reduce spoilage organisms and pathogenic bacteria on stored produce. A solid release is created when sodium chlorite (NaClO2) mixes with a stabilized acid zeolite impregnate. The acid is one of three types, depending upon the style of chlorine dioxide needed.

The gas that is created upon mixing the granules is very effective at reaching spuds and surfaces. If decay exists, the fumigant penetrates cuts, wounds, and stem scars. There is no residue, and no rinse required. It is also non-corrosive to typical storage surfaces.

FruitGard can easily be mixed and applied by the grower. The ease of this product’s application is a distinct advantage among the options for crop protection chemicals.

The application process does not involve heat, and the treatment is considered complete after just eight hours. This speed can be an especially appealing benefit for some growers. Spent FruitGard is inert and easily disposed.

Both Jet-Ag and FruitGard are excellent choices for root crop storage, and offer benefits to weigh according to your circumstances. Please note that FruitGard has not yet been approved for use with stored onions. Your IVI sales rep welcomes the chance to help you consider all factors for your harvest protection using crop protection chemicals—a critical aspect of your complete storage success.

November 16, 2017