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The English Apple Man

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17th Nov 2023 - The English Apple Man takes a look at machinery at the National Fruit Show 2023

The National Fruit Show demonstrates a plethora of 'supportive suppliers' producing everything from services and small hand tools to large machinery designed for Fruit and Viticulture producers

 

Without doubt, the rapidly expanding Viticulture Industry is providing Machinery suppliers with a welcome boost, as apple and pear growers are under extreme financial pressures

 

 

NP Seymour and Kirkland supply specialist machinery to the fruit and viticulture industries across the UK

 

While these two marketing specialists are both very much 'home grown; much of the machinery originates in Europe where the production of fruit and grapes extends to a scale we do not have in the UK and investment in new machinery design and manufacturing enjoys a much bigger market demand.

 

Over the years, tractors, mowers, sprayers have been at the heart of these two 'supply specialists' however the demands of growing fruit and grapes has necessitated the creative ingenuity of many manufacturers

 

NP SEYMOUR

 

 

National Fruit Show sponsor NP Seymour once again showcased a wide range of essential fruit machinery, which for the first time included products from Munckhof.

 

The VariMAS 3 over-the-row sprayer from Munckhof can treat up to three rows at a time, helping growers tackle disease pressure in limited windows of good weather while also saving up to 66% on labour, fuel and tractor running hours.

 

The VariMAS has also been designed to provide more accurate leaf coverage with minimal loss and in tests conducted by Wageningen University has a proven drift reduction of 99%.

 

For those thinking about upgrading harvest operations in 2024, the Munckhof Pluk-O-Trak harvesting platform equipped with the onboard computer, the M-Connect harvest registration system, which automatically records key harvest data allowing growers to track and trace fruit from the tree to the cold store.

 

 

Using an RFDI tag or barcode on each bin, the M-Connect collects information on the GPS position of the full bins, the time it took to fill each bin, and when the pickers clocked in and out.

 

When fitted with an optional camera system, it can also record the number of fruits, their size, colouration and quality/class.

 

On the stand, NP Seymour also had Fendt's Gen3 210V and 207F, a pulveriser from Perfect van Wamel, the REDpulse Duo pneumatic orchard deleafer from Fruit Tec, a variable-width mower from Fischer, a power harrow with seeder unit made by NP Seymour, the iMetos weather stations, and a range of Felco secateurs.

 

Below: Munckhof Pluk '0' Trak

 

 

Below: The VariMAS 3 over-the-row sprayer from Munckhof can treat up to three rows at a time, helping growers tackle disease pressure in limited windows of good weather while also saving up to 66% on labour, fuel and tractor running hours.

 

 

 

Claire Seymour, MD of NP Seymour wrote in the National Fruit Show Handbook

 

"Nostalgia is comforting but not always productive. Instead of looking back and discussing how far the tractors and specialist fruit

and vine machinery we supply to growers have come since those days, I decided to look ahead to the future.

 

So here's a brief round-up of some of the equipment deemed revolutionary now, which is likely to be commonplace by the time we

celebrate the 100th National Fruit Show".

 

Below: Fruit Tec's pneumatic orchard defoliator

 

"This summer, we hosted two machinery demonstration days. As the supermarkets continue to pay more for red, shiny, uniformed apples, it was unsurprising that many growers were keen to see Fruit Tec's pneumatic orchard defoliator, the REDpulse Duo, in action. Studies have proven defoliation to be exceptionally beneficial in reducing disease pressure and increasing the percentage of Class 1 fruit. While only two of these machines are currently operating in the UK, we suspect more will invest as they see the proven benefits these growers are obtaining.

 

Not on demonstration but also on display at our summer event, which was held at Amsbury Farm by the kind permission of Clive Baxter, was Munckhof's PlukO-Trak picking platform. This machine is designed to help keep harvest costs down and reduce damage to fruit and is equipped with "M Connect". The M-Connect harvest registration system automatically records key harvest data allowing growers to track and trace fruit from the tree to the cold store.

 

 

 

 

Using an RFDI tag or barcode on each bin, the M-Connect collects information on the GPS position of the full bins, the time it took to fill each bin, and when the pickers clocked in and out. When fitted with an optional camera system, it can also record the number of fruits, their size, colouration and quality/class.

 

Continuing on the subject of harvest, we are seeing increased interest from UK vineyards for mechanical grape harvesters. Ever

since Sam Barnes imported his first, Pellenc trailed Grapes'Line 80, more and more vineyards are happily embracing these machines

over hand harvesting. While they won't be for everyone, there is no doubt that mechanical grape harvesters are a more economical option when it comes to bringing in the final crop, costing around £90 per tonne for an average yield of around 10t/ha. Finally, all this high tec machinery has to be operated by a tractor, and for us, nothing beats a Fendt.

 

The latest Gen3 range has been designed to help operators work for longer with its completely flat floor, and the FendtONE system puts everything at your fingertips and can even be connected to the farm office, saving time on paperwork such as spray records.

 

 

 

KIRKLAND

 

Below: The Kirkland stand featuring the 'very new' Multiplex Electric Platform

 

 

Compact Multiplex Electric Platform

 

Kirkland MD Scott Worsley said a lot of interest was shown at The NFS in the 'very new' harvester - This Multiplex Electric Platform has been designed and tested to work in the most difficult situations. Built with a unique levelling system, ensuring the platform remains flat even on steep slopes. The axles are suspended and the balancing task is ensured by the special hydrostatic system that allows the wagon to maximise tyre grip on the ground. Each wheel is equipped with an independent electric motor controlled to maximise grip. The platform height ranges from a minimum of 1 metre to a maximum of 2.9 metres.

 

A lot of use with one charge of batteries: you can work up to 5 days with the platform (8h per day) and 3 days with the belts before recharging

 

With the automatic unloading of bins with belts for harvesting you can unload a full bin and load the empty one in LESS than 30 seconds

 

Increased productivity and reduced labour costs!

 

Below: Anthony Carraro specialist tractors

 

 

The Kirkland 'Bedford Truck built especially for The NFS with it's integral area for hosting visitors

 

 

Tecnofruit Harvester Machine - This impressive harvesting machine is one of our most popular labour-saving machines for UK Fruit Growers:

 

Special Features Include:

 

4WD for exceptional performance even during wet harvest.

Simple 3 bolt system to convert platform for winter work.

Independent drive and conveyor speeds.

Auto-levelling and auto steer.

 

Below: left. Tecnofruit Harvester Machine and right. The Kirkland stand hosted many interested visitors

 

 

TGF 8900 R - Low centre of gravity orchard tractor - This tractor caught The English Apple Man's eye!

 

 

With its 98 hp* Kubota engine, the TGF is a steering mono-directional tractor with large rear wheels and a low centre of gravity, the lowest and most compact tractor in the 100 hp class.

 

It is a tractor specifically designed for work in orchards and vineyards, perfect for both low- and high-trained vines, for working under tree canopies, in greenhouses, in "Y" shaped orchards and on slopes.

 

It is characterized by its extremely compact dimensions and tight turning circle, thanks to the smaller front wheels that reduce the turning radius and enable precision manoeuvrers. The hood height is the lowest in its class (112.5 cm), as is the driving position, with an overall height of just 174 cm with the low-profile Protector 100 cab.

 

Although extremely compact, the TGF offers the same level of operator space and comfort as a conventional tractor, with the central tunnel free of levers to facilitate access, and the reverse shuttle control located to the right of the operator.

 

All the models in the range can be equipped on request with the new Air cab (except for the TGF 10900 R, which is fitted with the Protector 100 cab) affording advanced technology and comfort, with a spacious operator position, notwithstanding the extremely compact dimensions which allow easy manoeuvring in tight spaces and between crops. The cab is pressurized and available also in a Category 4 certified version, which offers the operator total protection from inhalation of harmful dust, gas and vapour's.

 

For those of my readers who have not read the National Fruit Show 2023 handbook, I recommend a browse through as the subject matter is comprehensive!!

 

The National Fruit Show Handbook 2023

 

 

That is all for this week

 

Take care

 

The English Apple Man