Crop Harvesting Criteria

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 29 Dec 2018 | read


Harvesting is the process of removal of entire plants or economic parts after maturity. The economic product may be grain, seed leaf, root or entire plant. The remaining portion of the stem that is left on the field after harvest is known as stubble.

Criteria for harvesting of crops


Maturity Symptoms and Criteria for harvesting

Harvesting Stage
  1. 32 days after flowering
  2. Green grains not more than four to nine per cent
  3. Percentage of milky grains less than one per cent
  4. Moisture content of grains less than 20 per cent
  5. 80 per cent panicles straw coloured and grains in lower portion of panicle in hard dough stage. At least five hills are to be studied at maturity
  1. 40 days after flowering
  2. Grain moisture content less than 28 per cent 
  3. Yellow coloured ears with hard grains       
Pearl Millet28 to 35 days after flowering
Compact ears, on pressing hard seeds come out
Finger milletBrown coloured ears with hard grains
  1. Less than 22 to 25 per cent moisture in grain
  2. Husk colour turns pale brown
  3. 25 to 30 days after tasseling
WheatAbout 15 per cent moisture in grain
Grains in hard dough stage
Yellowing of spikelets
  1. The ratio of brix between top and botton part of cane nearly one
  2. Brix 18 to 20 per cent
  3. Sucrose 15 per cent
  1. 35 – 40 days after flowering
  2. 80 – 85 per cent of pods turn brown
Pods turn brown or black with hard seeds inside pods
  1. Pods turn dark from light colour.
  2. Dark coloured patches inside the shell.
  3. Kernels red or pink
  4. On pressing the kernels, oil is observed on fingers
CottonBolls fully opened
SugarcaneLeaves turn yellow, sucrose content more than 10 per cent and brix reading more than 18 per cent 

Moisture content of grains for safe storage


Moisture Content (%)

Paddy, raw rice14
Parboiled rice15
Wheat, barley, maize, sorghum, pearlmillet, finger millet and pulses12
Groundnut pods, rape and mustard6