Hanna and Raimo Alainen are running a farm in Finland, which is specialized in growing, packing and supplying vegetables for the local market. Those activities fit well with a couple that loves farming and both have an education as horticulturist. They have continued a long time work of previous generations at the family farm. They supply carrots, red beets and swedes straight to local supermarkets. In all time harder competition it is possible to manage on market with sharp service, which is meeting the demands of customer. Regardless to challenges caused by northern climate and short growing season they have intensively put effort to develop the production of these special crops in the last years. Latest step forward was a new packing line which was taken in operation at the beginning of this year. Hanna and Raimo saw a video about Manter carrot packing equipment. With his education in agricultural machinery, Raimo was very interested how different technical details have been designed and carried out. The professional build quality of the machines drew his attention right away. Also he saw lots of new models and a high level of development, which made him think that these machines are aiming for the future. Furthermore he was happy to see how the APH Group CTA (Commercial Technical Advisor) offered proper answers to his challenging questions. Before using this new line, small carrots were packed with a small simple wicket bagger, which was inaccurate and needed lots of attention to run. Bigger carrots, red beets and swedes were bagged manually. This new line is much more accurate with all products and bag sizes and runs with minimum mishits and need of attention. In the same time they can pack lots more with less labor. They were especially surprised, how accurately it can weigh big Swedes compared to manually weighing. They recommend these machines for the packers who are looking for leading solutions aiming for the future. They are very satisfied with the new line. Especially about the efforts that Manter made to make sure that the line meets the challenging request to pack a big variety of products and packing sizes perfectly. They chose a wicket style bagger for easy change between different bags since they run many different crops and bag sizes in a day.
Dutch potato technology finds its way to Belarus
APH Group Engineering recently delivered and installed a big scale line for grading, washing and packing of potatoes to one of her clients in the Northeast region of Belarus. The biggest challenge was to get all desired machines fit in the compact building. Several innovative solutions were applied to be able to design the line in such a way that all desired components were included. First of all the grader has been placed above the bunkers to reduce the floor surface. Secondly the brushing machines as well as the roller inspection tables are placed on platforms to be able to keep the floor space free. A palletizing line is equipped with a 90° angled conveyor to be able to place the palletizer on the best possible position. Several routings can be chosen from the central PLC with touchscreen, which means maximum flexibility for the customer. The dry line consists out of 3 brushing machines with integrated by-pass conveyors. In this way the brushers can be by-passed partly or completely by sliding the conveyor over the brushes inside of the machine. This invention makes it possible for the end-user to change the brushing intensity. The washing line consists out of a drum washer in combination with an active polisher to achieve the best possible cleaning result for the end product. The 16 bucket combination weighing machine assures maximum accuracy and capacity for the 2 automatic bagging machines. The potatoes will be packed in 2,5 kg PE-bags, as well as 20-25 kg mesh bags. The mesh bags will be stacked automatically and wrapped on a pallet to prepare them for transport. The line is able to reach capacities between 10-15 ton/hour, depending on the chosen routing and product quality. APH Group Engineering fulfilled this prestigious project together with its' partners: Bijlsma Hercules, Tummers, Haith Group, Schouten Sorting Equipment, Manter, Symach Palletizers and Jongejans Dust Collectors.
Richard Borg, Castrolanda, Brasil
For Richard Borg (a founder of AgroSolanum, a potato marketing group for three farmers) Omnivent has installed a 1000 ton potato box conditioning storage solution with capabilities of mid-term storage for fresh market and seed potatoes. The goal of Richard is to deliver high quality potatoes all year round, even when temporary wet spells do not allow harvest every day. This opportunity of being able to deliver also during these short no harvest spells is giving Richard the possibility of delivery from the store during higher market prices when other suppliers cannot deliver. Last year the store has only been used for seed storage, since this had the fastest return on investment and therefore there was no capacity to store fresh produce for short term. Cooperation with APH Group and Omnivent “I am an agricultural entrepreneur and agronomist and grow wheat and potatoes on two farms. One of the farms is located in Parana and covers an arable area of 650 ha and a farm in Sao Paulo of 450 ha. With this two farms I’m able to produce 9 months per year. Together with two other growers we have established a marketing group, AgroSolanum. This group is managed by Peter Elshof and the goal is to supply high quality potatoes for seed and industry year round. Within our group we focus on improvement of quality and efficiency using state of the art production technologies. Therefore we came in contact with APH Group Brasil, they focus on delivering these state of the art production technologies. Amongst others Omnivent is one of their partners specialized in storage solutions for potatoes. With the expert knowledge of Omnivent/ APH Group Brasil they designed the perfect solution for our challenges. This resulted in the investment in a state of the art ventilation system. This will improve quality, have better disease control and a reduction of production costs. Benefits and return on investment I am now using this system for one year and clearly can see the benefits: better drying capability for wet and rotten potatoes, better and faster wound healing, automatically maintain CO2 levels, accurate control of equal crop temperature. This resulted in better quality seed, less losses due to reduced infection risk, equal emergence on the field and higher yields. With this system I can store three times per year anticipated return on investment is one and a half year on the Omnivent solution. In the future I look forward to work closely together with APH Group for state of the art production technologies and with Omnivent / APH Group for storage improvements.”
Anderey Babushkin and Alexander Pekunkin, Mary El Republic, Russia
T-L: The King of Equipment. With more than 300 lakes, 11 major rivers, including the Volga River, and thousands of acres of woods, the Mary El Republic in southeastern Russia is known as one of the most ecologically pure territories in the European part of Russia. It’s little wonder the area is a popular destination for travelers and tourists who enjoy nature. With its long cold winters and warm summers, it’s an area best suited for timber production, wood processing and production of meat and milk. Crops, on the other hand are typically limited to barley, oats, rye and wheat, with some vegetables thrown into the mix — particularly in the marshy lowland that lies south of the Volga River in the western part of the territory. One of the vegetable producers in that area is Anderey Babushkin, who farms near the village of Penyangash. In addition to staples like potatoes, cabbage and onions, Babushkin grows sweet corn, tomatoes, carrots and red beets on 276 hectares (682 acres) of sandy loam soil. Yet, like many farmers in North America, Babushkin finds it hard to produce a quality crop and a consistent yield without irrigation. “In the past, I had a few hectares under drip irrigation,” Babushkin explains. “Mostly it was onions and cabbage; and the results were okay … but just okay. Every year is different, of course, but in 2010, we had a bad year. There was a drought and the yield from the potatoes was about 16 tons per hectare. In a perfect year, I could get about 30 tons.” However, Babushkin found a better solution to both problems in 2011, when he bought two T-L center pivot units from the APH Group, an agricultural equipment business based in the Netherlands that does business throughout Europe, Asia, northern Africa and Latin America. “Now I get about 45 tons of potatoes per hectare (364 hundredweight per acre), no matter the year,” he adds, referring to his T-L units as “the king of equipment.” “The most important thing for me is that I also get higher quality potatoes and the price is better.”