Domestic and offshore demand for NZ organically grown fruit shows no sign of slowing. Flavour and quality are vital, but sustainability is right up there too, and consumers are willing to pay more for fruit from trusted sources.
To take advantage of this rapidly-emerging market, growers understand the need for a ‘lighter touch’ approach to crop production – including less chemical use. Glyphosate-free goals are not just consumer-driven but cost too. PrimeHort, NZ’s major distributor of nursery supplies confirms glyphosate has tripled in price in 12 months and is currently on its website for $453 per 20 litres.
From a commercial grower’s perspective, it takes hard work and knowledge to bring the aspirations of spray-free growing to life, and innovative machinery is one of the levers to pull. Tim Logan of St Andrews Fruit is a premium PiqaBoo pear grower in Hastings who purchased a Fischer Mower to effectively mow under tree and inter row to eliminate herbicide use.
For organic farmers – any farmer - the economic argument must stack up when investing in machinery and this single purchase has eradicated expensive chemicals and is easy to operate. Tim is impressed with its performance and the savings he achieved by purchasing it through FarmShop. By directly importing machinery, FarmShop have eliminated the costly middleman.
Using adjustable hydraulic sensors, the Fischer can mow right up to his trees and is precise and gentle – getting rid of weeds and helping maximise productivity.
Another key benefit is the hydraulic adjustable width - ideal for inter-row, under tree mowing. The ability to widen the mower allows up to 30% productivity benefits when mowing the headlands – simply widen and mow more in each pass.
Citrus grower, Bruce McLelland has been glyphosate-free for over 12 months after purchasing a SL3 mower with an adjustable wing on one side with sensors, allowing him to mow right under and between his trees. He is thrilled to eliminate brown rot and puts it down to the grass coverage under the trees preventing ‘splash-back’ and therefore protecting the fruit.
The GL4 model has two adjustable wings fitted with hydraulic sensors; the operator sets the wings to the desired mow width and the sensors, softly and accurately guide the mower wings around the tree/vine.
The BV2 models are direct drive (no belts) and have an adjustable deck which can be altered during operation, giving the option of mowing an orchard with different crops or varying row widths. The extra low-profile deck allows the mower to pass under low hanging fruit without causing damage.
Fischer mowers are heavy duty with a gearbox rated for up to 120hp. The mower blades are robust with double wing tipped flail blades. Crop damage and fruit marking is minimised due to the mower’s exceptional stone protection – again, adjustable to suit.
Another great feature is the ability to mount a swing arm on the side of a tractor for mowing directly under electric fences without having to turn off the voltage!
Finally, Italian-made Fischer Mowers have their own hydraulic power pack to give the perfect result regardless of the tractor from which they are operated.
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We have dealers in Northland, Waikato, Gisborne, Marlborough, Southland, and are currently expanding our dealer network throughout New Zealand.