Science Into Practice - Reducing loss in radish crops

Pre and post-harvest splitting in radishes results in significant product wastage.

Splits can be as high as 30 per cent on arrival at the packhouse, exceeding imposed supermarket tolerances of 10 per cent. Affected batches often have to be sorted by hand. Despite these problems, the issue has received very little investigation.

HDC Studentship CP 083 - Minimising post-harvest losses in radish through an understanding of preand post-harvest factors that influence root splitting - is being undertaken by PhD student Rachel Lockley at Harper Adams University.

It aims to identify preand postharvest factors affecting splitting in radish by looking at varietal susceptibility, the effect of water availability on splitting and the effect of radish hypocotyl water content on the susceptibility of postharvest splitting.

To date, results indicate that those cultivars with thinner periderms tend to split less than those with thicker ones. There was a positive correlation between splitting and high water content at the secondary stage of thickening in immature radishes and crops were more susceptible to damage from dropping and puncture if they had a high water content. A key has also been developed for the growth stages of radish.

The aim of this work is to identify the factors governing splitting or splitting susceptibility and may enable the development of field production, harvesting and handling practices that minimise hypocotyl damage leading to fewer financial losses for the grower.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

After a sizeable dip last year, Europe's apple harvest looks to be back on track, and could even break recent records. But the wider global situation means it should find a ready market.

What is the future for glyphosate?

What is the future for glyphosate?

The horticulture industry has defended glyphosate after a landmark US court case saw chemical company Monsanto ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a groundskeeper who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

The cost of vehicle thefts from farms is rising, while trust in the police's ability to deal with rural crime is in decline, two new reports show.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon