AGM Field Trips 2010

Les McCracken

HGA newsletter July 2010

Field trips were held in South Canterbury in association with the AGM. On Saturday, about 50 people attended a field-day at Linda and Les McCracken’s orchard at Ashburton where the focus was on harvesting tools. This included a demonstration of the Italian harvester imported by Les and Linda earlier this year, as well as a sweeper designed and manufactured in Oamaru for Tim and Judith Medlicott.
The McCrackens imported the Super Jolly 2800 after seeing it while at the Hazelnut Congress in Italy in 2008. The complete unit cost approximately $29000 including freight. It uses mechanical pickup, rather than suction, to avoid blockages, and screens out soil and trash. A key advantage for the McCrackens is that the unit can be operated by one person.

Les reported that the machine coped well with loose surface material, and sorted this from the crop very effectively – very little rubbish was collected with the nuts. The harvester achieved about 2.8 hours per hectare, and Les believes this can be further improved with some minor modifications to block layout.

The machine has an operating width of 2.8 m (harvester 1.8 m, side sweeper 1 m) and is front-mounted onto a tractor with a minimum PTO requirement of 12.5 kW. The manufacturer also offers smaller and less sophisticated units. For more details, see the full report on the website.

Les McCracken’s Super Jolly 2800 harvester

Field trips on Sunday included visits to the properties of Terry and Christine Hutton, and Murray and Linda Cannon.