An exciting and lucrative product to produce is pecan nuts and it does not seem as if the demand and resulting favourable prices will reach a ceiling in our lifetime. However, every paradise has its snake and in pecan production the snake was harvesting and cleaning the nuts. Clever contraptions looking like whisks or egg-beaters were devised to roll over the ground and pick up nuts, but they were only suitable for very small operations.
The good news is that Valtrac, the suppliers known for their thorough understanding of and solutions to farmers’ problems, came forward with the answer to make pecan production easy and profitable – the Colombo Nut Master CH 1230 pecan harvester.
This handy machine nimbly and cleanly picks up nuts from the ground, cleans them and stores them in a bucket that can hold 2,5 tonnes. All the twigs, leaves and husks are blown out at the rear to become compost and to serve as moisture preserving mulch.
Valtrac has a strict policy to thoroughly test, and if necessary, adapt all equipment to make it hundred percent efficient before selling it to farmers – and who can test and make suggestions better than the farmer himself?
Jens Tegethoff, pecan nut and lucerne farmer from Hartswater in the Northern Cape province, is the farmer who worked closely with Valtrac to thoroughly test the first Colombo Nut Master CH 1230 pecan nut harvester in South Africa on his farm.
Jens is no fool when it comes to technology and pecan production, and when he starts talking about machines, fellow farmers may well lend him their ears. This is exactly what Valtrac’s technical people did to ensure that their nut harvester will fully comply with the farmer’s needs and fit within his budget.
3 months’ work in 10 days!
An excited Jens says: “Where it previously took me three months to harvest my pecan nuts, I now do it within ten days.” Just think what a farmer can do with all this saved time.
Jens went to America with Valtrac’s people to see the machine for himself. He was so impressed that he promptly ordered the first one to be imported. Back in South Africa he thoroughly tested the implement for Valtrac and pointed out any weaknesses so that they could be rectified.
Previously, Jens used manual labour to harvest the nuts. “Now, it happens MUCH quicker with the implement and it works out MUCH cheaper.” The shorter harvest time also greatly reduces the risk of theft.
Nowadays, Jens’s pecan nut harvesting works like this:
- Shake the trees (Jens uses his MultiOne tractor with a tree shaker for this).
- Rake the nuts (with leaves, sticks and twigs) together. (For this task, Jens uses a Pöttinger rake from Valtrac.)
- Send in the Colombo Nut Master CH 1230 to pick up and clean the nuts.
And no, says Jens, he does not know whether the implement’s 1230 number stand for these three easy steps concluded with an 0 to show how many nuts are lost.
This is how the Colombo Nut Master CH 1230 works:
The implement is based on the principle of a coffee bean harvester and a peanut harvester, and contains all Colombo’s know-how and experience, Jens says. “The bucket takes 2,5 tonnes before you have to unload, and you can harvest 15 tonnes per day. The big bucket tips hydraulically to unload, which means you do not need an extra wagon for the nuts. It works very well for me.”
All you have to do, is to draw the Colombo Nut Master CH 1230 over the raked row of nuts lying on the ground. A rotating broom on each side sweeps any nuts that may have rolled away from the row to the middle, and then the pick-up neatly and cleanly picks up all the nuts, leaves and twigs so that almost nothing remains on the ground.
Inside, it separates the nuts from the leaves and twigs, mulches the leaves, twigs and husks and blows them out of the rear onto the ground. The husks contain potassium, which means that you can apply less fertiliser. Jens believes in more organic materials such as manure for his fertilisation.
The clean nuts are deposited into the bucket and presto – the work is done in three easy steps. Jens says it is logical that the machine works at its best in dry conditions and on level ground. If you have 25 hectares of pecan trees, it will be an economically viable option to acquire a Colombo Nut Master CH 1230.
Jens is fully satisfied with Valtrac’s prompt and professional service and he enjoys working with Valtrac’s people. “They listen to the farmer and react quickly to give him only the best service – after all, their service is legendary.”
If you would like to convert pecan nut production into a viable farming venture, call Attie de Villiers on 083-261-9863 or 056-817-7308 or firstname.lastname@example.org, also if your rows are closer together than standard, so that the harvester can be adapted for narrower rows. Also visit www.proagri.co.za to see a video showing the quick, easy and efficient action of Valtrac’s Colombo Nut Master CH 1230, and have a look at all Valtrac’s superb tractors and other implements that make a farmer’s life easier and more enjoyable at www.valtrac.co.za.