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

Making life easier

Many temporary sheep fencing systems can be troublesome, with reels jamming or breaking and the bugbear of silly hooks on the chains, which continuously catch on everything.

Krone adds VariPack to its baler range

The Krone VariPack Plus is a high-density, high-performance round baler comprising of four models – the VariPack V 165, V 165 XC, VariPack V 190 and V 190 XC.

Valtra's following grows

With the release of its N5 and T5 series of tractors, Valtra continues to expand its presence in the Australia-New Zealand region.

National

Machinery & Products

JD establishes new hort JV

John Deere claims a joint venture between it and California-based technology company GUSS will assist horticulture producers achieve greater on-farm…

Mulchers set the standard

Orizzonti is well known in the viticulture and orchard sectors for its specialised range of mowers and mulchers.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

No free ride!

OPINION: This old mutt is getting somewhat tired of multi-national, tax-dodging, fund-raising group Greenpeace always given front and centre mainstream…

How come?

OPINION: A mate of yours truly is questioning exactly why the Māori ag sector have been given special budget funding by…

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter