The overall sequence of operations (Figure 8) is orientated towards protecting post-harvest product quality and minimizing loss due to deterioration occasioned by respiration, microbial activity, insects or rodents. Control of respiration (i.e. conversion of carbohydrates to carbon dioxide and water) in crop products is achieved by temperature reduction, most usually by refrigeration but also by periodic ventilation typically of the cold night air.
First, they reduce the profitability of all forms of agricultural investment, including land improvements, irrigation, animals, and buildings. Second, they may cause farmers to allocate whatever investment funds are available away from mechanical inputs. This trend will be stronger the more expensive and long-lived the mechanical inputs are and the easier it is to produce other forms of capital (such as land improvements) by hand.