Machinery and mechanisation

FRUITCo, Jeftomson’s packhouse revolution

Geoffrey Thompson Holdings Limited, more commonly known as Jeftomson, has received a $15 million grant from the Federal Government for its ‘FRUITCo’ project. The project consists of the purchase of high-tech new food handling equipment that will significantly reduce packing cost, which will allow the Australian industry to be more competitive in the international market. [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Exporting, Machinery and mechanisation, News|

US growers share experience at IFTA

Contents of this article were sourced from GrowingProduce.com, the aggregate site of American/Western Fruit Grower, American Vegetable Grower, and Florida Grower magazines. Find the original articles by Christina Herrick here and here. Roger Bannister's multileader trees planted in 2015 are seen here at Excelsior Farms. (Photo: Christina Herrick) The International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) held its [...]

Know your responsibility under new heavy vehicle laws

Changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) that came into effect on 1 October, 2018,  provide that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities. This means businesses who own themselves or contract other heavy vehicle owners or drivers to deliver their produce need [...]

Eyeing the future of robotics

Robotics and automation will play a key role in fifth-generation fruit grower Mitchell McNab’s plans to drive efficiencies and quality in his Goulburn Valley family orchard. Using remote sensors established across the orchard, Mitchell measures soil moisture to help manage water requirements. For more than a century H.V. McNab & Son Pty Ltd [...]

Labour shortfall prompts automation research

If there’s a single common challenge hovering over Australia’s pome fruit industry it’s labour – specifically, a shortage thereof – prompting 2018 Nuffield scholar Bisi Oladele to look into packhouse automation. As the technical manager for Geoffrey Thompson Fruit Packing at Shepparton, Bisi oversees all quality control and compliance aspects of one of Australia’s biggest [...]

Labour-saving harvest techniques

With harvest in full swing, if not already completed in some regions and for some varieties, it’s timely to look at how orchardists can reduce their labour costs and look at some interesting machines from Europe that can help. A rise in orchard production costs around the world has had a major influence on the [...]

Platforms for increased labour efficiency

The benefits of platforms for increasing orchard labour efficiency was the focus of the June 2016 winter Future Orchards®  presentation given by Steve Spark, of AgFirst. Platforms for increased labour efficiency – notes Platforms for increased labour efficiency – presentation

Picking platforms with Jason Shields

With two platforms in operation and another two on order, Plunkett Orchards are reaping the benefits of mechanisation on their orchards. APAL met with Orchard Manager Jason Shields to see the platforms in operation and learn more about them.  Plunkett Orchards in Victoria is a large apple and pear grower, based in the Goulburn Valley. They produce around 12,000 bins of apples every year including Pink [...]

By |April 5th, 2016|Machinery and mechanisation, Profile, Victoria|

The robots are coming a-pickin’

The Capital Press, a United States (US) weekly agricultural newspaper, reports that Washington State University researchers hope to test a robotic apple picker this season. Researchers at Washington State University say that this apple picker robot could be commercialised in the near future (Photo: WSU) "Apples require a system delicate enough to pick [...]

By |August 27th, 2015|Machinery and mechanisation, News|

Improving labour productivity in orchards

The Future Orchards® March 2015 orchard walks looked at ways to review the performance of our current season in 2015 as well as ways to improve on farm labour productivity. These harvest orchard walks asked the question: Have orchard blocks met expectations for the year? Harvest is a time when the results of management are [...]