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Vegetable growers mechanising their operations

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Some fruit and vegetable growers are enjoying stronger prices and reduced input costs, and this optimistic environment is leading them to look at new equipment options to reduce the labour intensity of their operations, according to Case IH Product Manager John Dreves.  

“This segment of the agriculture industry is seeing stronger prices and improved incomes,” John says. “In this climate, many are starting to upgrade their sometimes decades-old equipment in favour of new products which can help take some of the hard labour out of the job.”  

Traditionally, fruit and vegetable farming has been seen as highly labour intensive. The move towards mechanisation has been driven not just by farmers’ growing incomes, but by the deepening shortage of workers.  

“Finding workers is an ongoing challenge in the industry. Farmers who can move towards more mechanised practices can minimise their staffing needs while they’re maximising productivity.”  

Case IH has a number of newly-released products which are proving popular in the field scale vegetable growing industry, including the latest Puma, JXU and Magnum tractor ranges.  

“The new Puma boasts increased horsepower and easy adaptability for different implements, along with an Automatic Productivity Management (APM) system for maximum fuel savings and an exclusive hydraulic power boost. The Magnum also offers the APM system, with simple one-button functionality and fuel savings of up to 25 per cent in certain applications. The JXU is a rugged yet economical option designed to match perfectly with our new VISION-LIFT 40 loaders.”  

The VISION-LIFT 40 is one of six new models in that range, and there are also two new models in the PRIME-LIFT range. “The loaders are very operator friendly, with a uniquely designed loader self-levelling system that significantly increases visibility,” John says.  

John says many farmers are using the latest autoguidance technology to help them get the most from their new equipment. “The latest AFS autoguidance system from Case IH allows operators to mark field boundaries and obstacles, which further enables operators to optimize machinery performance in varied situations.  

“The key to all of these new features and products is that they’re designed to make it as easy as possible for farmers to mechanise their operations and get the best possible returns with the lowest possible inputs.”

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