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HARVESTING. Harvesting is the act of removing a crop from where it was growing and moving it to a more secure location for processing, consumption, or storage. Some root crops and tree fruit can be left in the field or orchard and harvested as needed, but most crops reach a period of maximum quality—that is, they ripen or mature—and will deteriorate if left exposed to the elements. While the major factor determining the time of harvest is the maturity of the crop, other factors such as weather, availability of harvest equipment, pickers, packing and storage facilities, and transport are important considerations.