Today, Qualipac was proud to support the opening of Woolworths new store at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. A fantastic display of Qualipac’s broccoli was set up at the store at a red hot price of $1.48/kg. Qualipac Director Troy Qualischefski and Sales Manager Kees Versteeg were both in attendance at today’s launch and were thrilled with the broccoli display.
“The broccoli looked perfect and we are very pleased to be able to supply fresh Lockyer Valley produce to the Sunshine Coast. Were pretty sure that at this price and with the quality so high there will be plenty of Sunshine Coast residents enjoying broccoli for dinner this week.” Troy Qualischefski, Qualipac Director
We are almost half way through our 2015 season with both volumes and quality high. Harvesting is now complete on the Darling Downs and we are currently harvesting in the Lockyer Valley.
Preparations for our 2015 broccoli season have begun with planting of both broccoli and baby broccoli well underway. After initially starting at the end of January on the Darling Downs, planting has now moved to the Lockyer Valley where we will continue until the end of June.
Qualipac Farms General Manager Brad Qualischefski is very pleased with the progress so far.
“Everything has been going very smoothly and the recent rain has definitely been helpful.”
Harvesting will begin in the first week of April and will continue all the way through the mid October. We are aiming to harvest 120,000kgs of broccoli and 6000kgs of baby broccoli a week which will be sold to local, interstate and international markets.
Recent cases of contaminated berries and onions imported from overseas has highlighted the benefits of locally grown fresh produce. In today’s Queensland Times, Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones has presented a strong case for Lockyer Valley farmers and highlighted some of the challenges facing the industry. You can view the article here http://www.qt.com.au/news/lockyer-farmers-know-food/2562523/
We have just wrapped up another successful corn harvest with 3500 tonnes of corn harvested from our farms in the Lockyer Valley just before the end of the year. The harvest marks our fourth year of partnering with food manufacturer Simplot. For Qualipac Farms General Manager Brad Qualischefski it has been a challenging crop.
“The conditions have been pretty tough this year with hot and dry weather presenting us with some challenges and ironically, when it came time to harvest it was quiet wet. Having said all of this, we were very happy with the end result.”
While corn is not one of our major crops in terms of production it is important for crop rotation. The crop fits in perfectly between out other crops and the tops of the plant left behind after harvest are excellent for the health of the soil. So where did the corn end up? If you have enjoyed some Edgells canned corn or Birds Eye frozen corn lately, there is a good chance it was grown by Qualipac.
Qualipac has been awarded the 2014 Mayors Award at the Lockyer Valley Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards which were held over the weekend. Presented by the Mayor Cr Steve Jones and event host Andrew Daddo, the award is in recognition of outstanding performance by a business in the region. Qualipac co-owner and director Troy Qualischefski attended the awards night and received the award on behalf of the management and staff at Qualipac.
“We weren’t aware we were receiving the award so it was a nice surprise. It is great to be recognized, especially by the Mayor and within the local community. It certainly motivates us to keep working hard.”
Our first ever beetroot harvest began last week. The maiden harvest is a boost for beetroot production in the Lockyer which has been on the decline in recent years. Qualipac Director Troy Qualischefski was recently interviewed for an article for the Queensland Times. Find out more about our beetroot harvest and beetroot in the Lockyer here: http://www.qt.com.au/news/beetroot-boost-for-lockyer/2414905/
This week has marked the start of our 2014/15 onion season with harvesting beginning in the Lockyer Valley. Some 6000 tonnes of onions are expected to be harvested between now and the end of the year with supply likely until the end of January.
While harvesting has just commenced, many months of preparation, planting, irrigating and growing have gone into this seasons harvest. Qualipac Farms General Manager Brad Qualischefski has been overseeing the entire process and is very pleased with the results so far.
“The weather conditions have been favourable this year so preparations have been relatively smooth and while we are only a week into the harvest, the quality so far is exceptional.”
Qualipac’s onions are all hand harvested and while the process is labour intensive, the results are high quality, unblemished onions.
The onions harvested this week have all been transported to our packing shed where they will be dried and cured before packing commences next week.
Qualipac Sales Manager Kees Versteeg has recently been interviewed about the start of our season for an article for international fresh produce website Fresh Plaza. Read the article and find out more about Queensland onions here: http://www.freshplaza.com/article/127618/Out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-ne
Irrigation is a big part of our business and we are always looking at ways to do it more efficiently, which is why Qualipac has recently invested in a state of the art GPS Corner Pivot.
The Valley brand pivot was shipped to Australia from the United States. It was then transported in parts to its location on Qualipac’s farm at Glenore Grove in the Lockyer Valley where it was installed by Toowoomba dealer Pivot Irrigation & Pumping.
This particular pivot addresses one of the downfalls of traditional centre pivots – essentially it reaches the corners of a square farm. Qualipac Farms General Manager, Brad Qualischefski has spent many month researching and planning for the pivots arrival and after its first run, is thrilled with the outcome.
“The particular farm the pivot is located on has always been tricky to irrigate because of its irregular shape. Previously we were using three separate irrigators. The new pivot has replaced all three resulting in far more efficient irrigation.”
The pivot runs off GPS and is fully automated which makes it virtually labour free to operate. It is also a low pressure irrigation system which uses far less energy than other high pressure irrigation methods.
The pivot will be getting plenty of use over the coming months with a crop of sweet corn soon to be planted on the block.
Qualipac Sales and Marketing Manager Kees Versteeg was recently interviewed for an article for international fresh produce website, freshplaza.com
Kees spoke about our current broccoli season and our plans to further expand our export market into Asia. You can view the article at: