Last week, Claire bravely let me leave the office and drive some 11 hours north to see our Scottish soft fruit customers.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to a bunch of fruit growers, but there’s a really thriving, well-established soft fruit industry located around Perthshire and Aberdeenshire.
While Scottish soft fruit growers are susceptible to harsher frosts and a shorter growing season, which normally lasts from May to September, they are still achieving good yields.
As well as popping in to see customers just to touch base, check their blackcurrant and strawberry sprayers over and arrange for any parts to be delivered, the main reason for the trip was to set up and check over some new pieces of kit which had been delivered before I arrived.
On the frost front, I went to see Castleton Fruit Farm in Kincardineshire who have had another AgroFrost FrostBuster from us. In fact, they’ve now got five FrostGuards and this is their third FrostBuster. I just called in to make sure everything had turned up all right and that they were happy with it.
On the sprayer side of things, the team in the workshop had manufactured two bespoke units, one herbicide sprayer and one raspberry sprayer.
The herbicide sprayer for Alanhill Farming in Fife was a hydraulic, galvanised boom system with Micron sprayer heads designed to fit onto one of their existing tanks.
The high-volume Micron sprayers included two fan nozzles and were covered by flexible polyethene hoods which not only stop drift but will also rotate if they touch any of the strawberry bushes.
In Blairgowrie, Bruce Farms had taken delivery of a Berthoud Win’Air which the workshop had carefully adapted for use in their raspberry polytunnels. I went along on a day they were using it to make sure it was all working correctly and that it fit within their system.
The workshop is well accustomed to tweaking different sprayers to better suit the specialist crops and modern planting systems our growers use.
The Berthoud Win’Air sprayer was deemed the most suitable as it needed the least modification. It was already an over the row sprayer, so it was just a case of reducing the height, to ensure that it would fit into a tunnel and the workshop also removed one of the dropdown legs on each side, as only two rows need spraying at once.
It is a lot easier and quicker to adapt an already-existing sprayer than it is to build booms and nozzle outlets from scratch that’s for sure!
I hope you all have a good Easter break and are getting all geared up for this year’s season. As always, if there’s anything tractor or machinery-related we can help with, please do give the sales team a call on 01580 712200.