Friday, 16 July 2021 15:55

Smart way to bumper crops

Written by  Mark Daniel
The NZ designed and built Pollensmart is an interesting development in the mechanical pollination of orchards. The NZ designed and built Pollensmart is an interesting development in the mechanical pollination of orchards.

With kiwifruit being the "go to" good food of the 21st century, it was inevitable that orchard prices would skyrocket.

To make the most of such investments, it goes without saysing that the production of high yielding uniform crops is the main way to ease that high investment pain.

Pollensmart, designed and built in New Zealand and covered by global patents, is an interesting development in the mechanical pollination of orchards.

Built around a heavy-duty galvanised steel chassis, a PTO-driven fan unit delivers an air blast from four pollen blower outlets positioned about 80cm apart. These push turbulent air to all areas of the crop canopy. In the same operation, a vacuum inlet at the rear of the machine, 'recovers' any surplus pollen and reintroduces it into the blower line.

The fact that pollen typically costs around $5,000/kg, with a coverage of 2ha to 4ha per kg, means that accuracy of application is vital. In the case of Pollensmart, the integral pollen dispenser maintains an accurate feed rate to the blower assemblies. This helps to reduce wastage, while the process is also said to promote bee activity during the process.

Trial results suggest that use of the unit can help deliver up to $10,000 per hectare increases in revenue. This is largely driven by perfect pollination achieving 88% of fruit suitable for export, compared to the more 47% achieved with "bees only" pollination.

The manufacturer says kiwifruit has a very short window for optimal pollination, often only lasting a few days. Using the machine, typically with three applications, allows a grower to pollinate flowers at the optimal time.

This helps create a more evenly pollinated crop and consistently sized fruit.

It is available in single or double set-ups, to cover 3.5m wide or 5m wide orchards, respectively.

"Pollensmart takes away the uncertainty of waiting for a contractor to arrive in that critical time window," explains Wilco Klein-Ovink from the company.

"It also only need tractor of around 30hp to do the job. However, overall success is achieved by an accurate forward speed of 5km/h and the PTO running at a constant 440 rpm."

www.pollensmart.co.nz

More like this

A baler like no other

While baler-wrapper combinations have become the backbone of baled silage production, one machine stands out from the rest in the layout of the machine.

Small bales in demand

While round or large square bales have the dominant shares in the rural landscape, small square bales still play an important part, especially in the equine sector, but also where the large packages are not easily managed.

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results over a range of working depths with easy machine setting.

National

Machinery & Products

It pays to automate!

With the hort industry struggling to attract staff at key times of the growing season, many businesses are taking the…

New tech sizes-up fruit

NZ agritech company Hectre and its Spectre app are delivering fruit size and colour data to US packers and growers…

One-pass, four-row planting

The latest version of root crop specialist Grimme’s GL420 Exacta potato planter offers four-row planting in 90cm row widths.

Auto packer saves time, labour

New fruit packing technology – developed by a NZ company – is said to be dramatically reducing packhouse labour needs.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter