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RTE3003A

Co-ordinate horticultural crop harvesting

Unit Descriptor This competency standard covers the process of co-ordinating harvesting activities for horticultural crops including preparing for harvest, maintaining harvest requirements, monitoring crop quality and delivering the crop. Co-ordinating crop harvesting is likely to occur under limited supervision with checking only related to overall progress. Co-ordinating crop harvesting requires the application of extensive horticultural knowledge and a broad range of horticultural skills. Co-ordinating crop harvesting is normally done within established routines, methods and procedures where some discretion and judgement is required in the selection of equipment and materials, organisation of work, services, actions and the achievement of outcomes within time and budgetary constraints.

ELEMENTPERFORMANCE CRITERIA
1 . Prepare for crop harvesting
  1. The crop to be harvested and the requirements and procedures to assure crop quality are identified according to enterprise work procedures.

  2. Crop maturity is determined by experience, specification charts, aids or devices and according to client, enterprise and industry quality assurance specifications.

  3. Suitable weather conditions for picking are established according to enterprise work procedures.

  4. Tools, equipment and machinery are selected according to harvest requirements and enterprise work procedures.

  5. Pre-operational and safety checks are carried out on tools, equipment and machinery according to manufacturers specifications and enterprise work procedures.

  6. OHS hazards are identified, risks assessed, controls implemented and reported to the supervisor.

  7. Suitable safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) are selected, used and maintained.

2 . Co-ordinate harvesting activities
  1. The crop to be harvested and the requirements and procedures to assure crop quality are identified according to enterprise work procedures.

  2. Crop maturity is determined by experience, specification charts, aids or devices and according to client, enterprise and industry quality assurance specifications.

  3. Suitable weather conditions for picking are established according to enterprise work procedures.

  4. Tools, equipment and machinery are selected according to harvest requirements and enterprise work procedures.

  5. Pre-operational and safety checks are carried out on tools, equipment and machinery according to manufacturers specifications and enterprise work procedures.

  6. OHS hazards are identified, risks assessed, controls implemented and reported to the supervisor.

  7. Suitable safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) are selected, used and maintained.

3 . Maintain harvest requirements
  1. Enterprise tools, equipment and machinery are maintained in effective working order throughout the harvest to enable smooth operations and minimise downtime.

  2. Harvest workers are provided with sufficient tools, equipment and machinery to match harvest output and to prevent unnecessary interruptions.

  3. Full containers are removed, emptied into or loaded onto transport vehicles as soon as possible after harvesting to minimise deterioration of the crop.

4 . Monitor crop quality throughout harvest
  1. PPE is selected, maintained and used according to OHS procedures.

  2. Harvesting procedures and the harvested crop comply with client, enterprise and industry quality assurance specifications.

  3. The crop is handled carefully to prevent damage according to enterprise work procedures.

  4. Sorting and grading of the crop complies with client, enterprise and industry quality assurance specifications.

  5. Crop storage minimises postharvest deterioration according to enterprise work procedures.

  6. The crop is transported with minimum damage according to enterprise work procedures.

  7. Picking tallies or harvest yields are calculated and recorded according to enterprise work procedures.

5 . Deliver crop to specified destination
  1. Delivery details including quantity, timing and destination are confirmed according to enterprise work procedures.

  2. Crop is delivered with damage levels that are within client, enterprise and industry quality assurance specifications.

  3. Delivered crop complies with client, enterprise and industry quality assurance specifications.

  4. Delivery documentation is completed accurately according to enterprise work procedures.





Key CompetencyExamples of ApplicationPerformance
Level
How can information be collected, analysed and organised?Written, oral and telecommunication of ideas and information relating to harvesting activities and problems encountered will be required with the work group, supervisor, contractors and clients.2
How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?Enterprise work procedures and quality specifications should be consulted, interpreted and applied to co-ordinate harvesting activities with further clarification sought from the supervisor when necessary.2
How are activities planned and organised?Daily work activities for the work group, contractors and self will be planned prior to and adjusted during the harvest program.2
How are problem solving skills applied?The harvesting program will involve facilitating and leading members of a team to complete the harvest on time and budget.2
How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?Mathematical application will be required to calculate the logistical requirements of the harvest program, yields, percentage deterioration of crops, tallies and working hours.2
How is use of technology applied?Site contingencies, adverse weather, machinery breakdown, contractual and personnel difficulties, and timeline failures may require problem-solving techniques.2
How is team work used within this competency?Technological understanding will be required to access and apply harvest specifications, undertake harvesting activities, communicate, report and keep records.2

Range Statement

What types of crop may be harvested?

Crops may include fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, foliage, bulbs, tubers, nuts, mushrooms, wild harvest plants and oils.

How may the crop be harvested?

The crop may be harvested manually or mechanically.

What enterprise work procedures may apply to this standard?

Work procedures will be based on sound horticultural principles and practices and may include supervisors oral or written instructions, the harvest plan, program and schedule, quality assurance policy and plan, enterprise standard operating procedures (SOPs), specifications, routine maintenance schedules, work notes; product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS); manufacturers service specifications and operators manuals; waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines; and OHS procedures.

How is crop maturity determined?

Work procedures will be based on sound horticultural principles and practices and may include supervisors oral or written instructions, the harvest plan, program and schedule, quality assurance policy and plan, enterprise standard operating procedures (SOPs), specifications, routine maintenance schedules, work notes; product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS); manufacturers service specifications and operators manuals; waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines; and OHS procedures.

What clients may be relevant to this standard?

Clients may include the enterprise, packers, wholesalers, retailers, processors and exporters.

What weather conditions may affect the harvesting of the crop?

Clients may include the enterprise, packers, wholesalers, retailers, processors and exporters.

What tools, equipment and machinery may be used to carry out crop harvesting activities?

Tools, equipment and machinery may include secateurs, knives, maturity testing equipment, specification charts, gloves, bags, ladders, tractors, trailers, forklifts, powered ladders, mechanical harvesters, pallets, containers, cartons, trays, net bags, buckets, dip tins, bulk bins, gondolas, trucks and trailers for transport of bulk produce, grading machinery, cutting machines, coolrooms, gassing chambers and labelling devices.

What OHS hazards may be associated with co-ordinating harvest activities?

Hazards may include solar radiation, dust, noise, soil and air-borne micro-organisms, chemicals and hazardous substances, sharp hand tools and equipment, manual handling, ladders, moving vehicles, machinery and machinery parts, slippery or uneven surfaces, potholes and flying objects.

What safety equipment may be required?

Safety equipment may include signage and barriers.

What PPE may be required when harvesting horticultural crops?

PPE may include hat, boots, overalls, gloves, goggles, respirator or face mask, face guard, hearing protection, sunscreen lotion and hard hat.

What OHS requirements may be relevant to this standard?

OHS requirements may include identifying hazards, assessing risks and implementing controls, cleaning, maintaining and storing tools, equipment and machinery, appropriate use of personal protective equipment including sun protection, safe operation of tools, equipment and machinery; safe handling, use and storage of chemicals and hazardous substances, correct manual handling, basic first aid, personal hygiene and reporting problems to supervisors.

What environmental implications may be associated with co-ordinating horticultural crop harvesting activities?

Detrimental environmental impacts may arise where harvesting activities produce excess noise, dust or water run-off.

What harvest records may be required by the enterprise?

Harvest records may include harvest workers tallies or working hours, written harvest instructions, dates of harvest, withholding periods (time since last chemical spray), crop yield from each section, weather conditions during harvest, percentage crop deterioration, maturity measurements taken, storage conditions, machinery settings or adjustments, machinery repairs and maintenance, dispatch details and delivery dockets.

How may a clean and safe work area be maintained?

Tasks may include disabling unused tools, equipment and machinery and storing neatly out of the way of harvest activities, safely storing harvest materials on site, using signage and safety barriers during and removing after mechanical harvesting activities are completed, and swiftly and efficiently removing and processing debris and waste from the work area.

How may damage to the crop be incurred if it is incorrectly handled?

Damage may occur during mechanical harvesting by rods, beaters, shakers, blades, belts, chains, wheels and other moving machinery parts, during manual harvesting by long fingernails, tearing or cutting the crop when picking, bruising or squashing the crop when dropping or tipping it into containers, and overfilling containers. Protruding nails, splinters or rotting, unemptied crop in containers may damage the crop, as may driving too fast or roughly, leaving filled containers in the sun too long, frost damage when full containers are left out overnight and not separating varieties.

What sorting and grading requirements may be monitored?

Sorting and grading may include removing out of type plants, or physically damaged, unhealthy, rotten or immature produce. The crop may be graded according to variety, size, length, colour, maturity, blemishes, bud count and quality, which are subject to seasonal and market forces. Crop in doubt is checked with supervisors. Any out-of-standard produce should be disposed of according to enterprise policy.

What storage conditions may be relevant from the time of harvest until delivery to the client?

Storage requirements may include high humidity, cold temperature and controlled atmosphere storage, supplying produce with water after harvest e.g., asparagus and roses, controlling gases and temperature in storage to speed up maturity e.g., ethylene gas to ripen bananas and improve the colour of citrus, and coating with wax or wrapping in plastic.

How may the crop be transported?

The crop may be transported by trailer, forklift, truck or other specialised methods of transport.

What destinations may be relevant to this standard?

The crop may be transported by trailer, forklift, truck or other specialised methods of transport.


Evidence Guide

What specific knowledge is needed to achieve the performance criteria?

Knowledge and understanding are essential to apply this standard in the workplace, to transfer the skills to other contexts, and to deal with unplanned events. The knowledge requirements for this competency standard are listed below:

What specific skills are needed to achieve the performance criteria?

To achieve the performance criteria, appropriate literacy and numeracy levels as well as some complementary skills are required. These include the ability to:

Are there other competency standards that could be assessed with this one?

This competency standard could be assessed on its own or in combination with other competencies relevant to the job function.

Essential Assessment Information

There is essential information about assessing this competency standard for consistent performance and where and how it may be assessed, in the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package. All users of these competency standards must have access to the Assessment Guidelines. Further advice may also be sought from the relevant sector booklet.