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.
We are now midway through our 2014 broccoli season. We have harvested just over half of our 500ha of broccoli and are also heading back to the Darling Downs properties to commence the final stages of planting which will see our supply through to the end of the season.
Both our farms and packing shed operations are currently working at peak capacity for the broccoli season. Qualipac Farms General Manager, Brad Qualischefski is currently overseeing harvesting in the Lockyer Valley and has been very pleased with the results.
“The recent cool and mostly dry weather has been favourable for us and has resulted in high quality broccoli and excellent supply.”
This excellent supply has been welcome news to southern states whose own supply has been hit by extremely cold weather. Qualipac has been able to fill the gap down south and help ensure they have fresh broccoli on their shelves.
We encourage you to enjoy some broccoli tonight. It is great quality at the moment and as always, is a great source of vitamins and minerals.