FarmTrack: Citrus exporters require precise spraying

by | Sep 1, 2020 | Article

Roelof Joubert of Wildebeestkraal Boerdery in Limpopo.

Roelof Joubert of Wildebeestkraal Boerdery in Limpopo, and his brothers FJ and Salmon, produce a range of soft citrus varieties on 120 hectares which are exported to the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, the Middle East and China.

FarmTrack is a GPS tracking device that tracks the movements of tractors and farm vehicles. Wildebeestkraal Boerdery fitted FarmTrack to two tractors in July 2019 as a management tool to ensure that orchards are sprayed accurately. “We have improved the packout percentages of our citrus and increased income since fitting FarmTrack to our tractors,” says Roelof.

“We know which orchards have been sprayed, when it was done, if any rows were skipped as well as the amount of chemicals applied. This is especially important for citrus exporters who have to manage phytosanitary pests and diseases as well as comply with maximum allowable chemical residue requirements.”

“To access foreign markets and receive accreditation from overseas customers, we have to spray chemicals registered for use against black spot and false codling moth correctly. One infected consignment will result in us being denied entry to that market.”

“In addition, consumers and customers are increasingly demanding the minimum amount of chemical residue on fresh fruit,” he says.

“FarmTrack helps us manage our chemical spraying program precisely. We are able to control pests and diseases effectively while simultaneously complying with chemical residue levels acceptable to the markets for which we produce.”

According to Roelof it’s essential that that no orchard rows be skipped or sprayed more than once with each chemical application. “Pests and diseases can occur should a row be missed which will lead to large losses. However, the chemical residues on fruit will be increased to unacceptable levels if a row is sprayed twice. FarmTrack gives you peace of mind knowing that orchards have been sprayed correctly.”

FarmTrack also helps with after-hours applications. “Weather conditions often determine that spraying takes place after 17:00. You have to rely on the tractor driver to spray the orchards correctly at night. It is now easy to follow his route and check up on him with my cell phone.”

Roelof also finds FarmTrack useful for planning ahead to save money on chemical purchases. “We buy chemicals once per annum at the beginning of the season. FarmTrack assists to determine which chemicals and the quantity required. We are able to negotiate the best price and don’t buy chemicals on an ad hoc, and more expensive, basis.”

“FarmTrack is a very good and affordable system. It’s easy to use and not as expensive as similar imported systems offered by well-known tractor manufacturers.”

Contact FarmTrack on 021 880 1163 or visit www.farmtrack.co.za

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