Harvest Leader Manual

  Misc: assigning areas

Limiting pickers to a part of the crop – advantages and disadvantages

The practice of assigning pickers to rows or other restricted areas of a crop can be a useful one. However, it is an unusual practice and should be done only for good reasons and after weighing the advantages and disadvantages.

Possible reasons to restrict pickers to areas:
  • It is known that there will be multiple sessions of a harvest and we want each session to have good picking.
  • It is known that there will be multiple sessions of a harvest and the check-in and donation areas will be in different places for each session.
  • There is far more in the field than we will be able to pick and limiting the area will mean less hauling while everyone still has plenty to pick.
  • We know of a part of the crop that has the best quality or quantity of produce.
Disadvantages of restricting pickers to areas:
  • They may pick the area clean before the end of the session resulting in less produce being picked and picker frustration.
  • If pickers are individually limited, for instance to specific rows, there can be an unfair disparity in how much each picker finds to pick.
  • Assigning pickers to rows takes time and assistants and slows the harvest.
  • It feels more regimented to volunteers, especially if the reasons are not apparent.

Next section