Tech helps spinach pro­duc­tion

An in­ter­na­tional search for the lat­est baby leaf har­vester tech has paid off for this Vic­to­rian farmer

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Ahuge in­vest­ment in the lat­est baby leaf har­vester and leaf pro­cess­ing equip­ment has en­abled a Vic­to­rian spinach farmer to in­crease his pro­duc­tion and an­nual out­put.

Bul­mer Farms is one of the big­gest spinach pro­duc­ers in Aus­tralia with 550 hectares at Lin­de­now in Vic­to­ria, but it also pro­duces baby broc­coli and lettuce in large quan­ti­ties.

Its re­cent in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture in­cludes a Ram­say High­lander baby leaf har­vester, a Sor­mac Wash­line con­tin­u­ous dry­ing tun­nel, a new pack-house fa­cil­ity, 10,000 new sprin­klers and other ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture up­grades.

Speak­ing to Farms & Farm Ma­chin­ery at the re­cent AgriVic­to­ria State of Op­por­tu­nity 2016 Sum­mit in Mel­bourne, Bul­mer Farms man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­drew Bul­mer says his team made a con­scious de­ci­sion to utilise the best tech­nol­ogy avail­able to help drive busi­ness growth into the fu­ture.

“In 2014 we de­cided we needed to im­prove all as­pects of our baby leaf sup­ply chain,” Bul­mer says. “We trav­elled ex­ten­sively around the world look­ing at har­vesters and wash­line equip­ment.

“We sent our agron­o­mist to at­tend in­ter­na­tional field days to scope out new trends and the best avail­able seed va­ri­eties on the mar­ket. We made a com­mit­ment as a busi­ness to place our­selves at the fore­front of world’s best prac­tice.”

Bul­mer won the in­au­gu­ral Ausveg Vic grower of the year award in May this year, and says his in­vest­ment in the lat­est gear con­trib­uted to this suc­cess.

The new Sor­mac baby leaf pro­cess­ing line was shipped from the Nether­lands and de­liv­ered to the farm in July last year.

It has since helped to in­crease pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity and im­prove the qual­ity of the baby leaf pro­duced by Bul­mer Farms. It came in five sep­a­rate ship­ping con­tain­ers and was as­sem­bled on site.

Lo­cal elec­tri­cal, re­frig­er­a­tion and plumb­ing con­trac­tors, to­gether with the Sor­mac en­gi­neer, as­sisted Bul­mer Farms main­te­nance crews to as­sem­ble, in­stall and com­mis­sion the new plant.

The Ram­say High­lander baby leaf har­vester has re­duced har­vest­ing costs and is ca­pa­ble of cut­ting large amounts of leaf quickly.

Above: A Ram­say High­lander baby leaf har­vester has al­lowed Vic­to­rian spinach, broc­coli and lettuce pro­ducer Bul­mer Farms to in­crease its pro­duc­tion this year

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