Influence of different production systems and fastening methods on yield and postharvest losses in spinach (spinacia oleracea L.)

Keywords: greenhouse, frost protection fleece fabric, shade cloth, postharvest losses


Appropriate agronomic management may increase yield and maintain postharvest quality. This has been studied in detail in many horticultural crops but in others such as spinach the information available is limited. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of production systems, product fastening methods, harvest season and storage time on yield and postharvest losses of spinach produced in Zavalla, Santa Fe. Three factors were analyzed: 1) Production system: greenhouse, frost protection fleece fabric, shade cloth, and open field; 2) Fastening method: bunch and unfastened; 3) refrigerated (3ºC) storage time: 0, 3, 6 and 9 days. The variables measured were: yield (kg m-2); dry material (%); discarding (%), weight loss (%) and color (L *, a * and b *). For the evaluation of the systems a randomized block design with 3 replications was used. For postharvest, DCA was performed with 3 replications, applying a model of measures repeated in time (MIXED of SAS). In the winter, yields were higher in the greenhouse than in the field. In the autumn, dry matter was higher in field-grown plants than in those grown with frost protection fleece fabric and shade cloth . Water loss was lower in the protected systems in both seasons, especially in the first days of storage. Discard losses were lower in bunch, during the last days of storage, in autumn. In the autumn, bunches of spinach grown under greenhouse and frost protection fleece fabric presented higher values of L* (lighter), whereas bunches of field-grown spinach presented a higher value of a* (darker green). In the autumn, leaves of field-grown spinach were darker green, while those grown under frost protection fleece fabric, were yellowish. In the winter, plants from open field kept their green color during all storage days. Production systems have a differential influence on the productive variables and losses, in autumn and winter.