Andrew Krol and Paul Dydula started Paradise Fruits 20 years ago, with the aim of producing high quality specialty fruit products, mostly focusing on crops suited to a fertigated substrate growing method. Over the years, they have grown strawberries, figs, mini capsicums and now focus on raspberries and blueberries.
Paul Dydula has always pursued his interest in innovative products in the horticultural industry to help improve efficiency and yield and quality. On one of his excursions to the USA, Paul came across the first berry farm in California to use the Growscale and Moisture balance system that Priva developed with that grower’s input. Since then Paul was impressed and investigated the benefits of Priva’s range of fertigation and control system technology. He engaged Powerplants as the Australian Priva agent in 2016 when developing one of his business partners’ farms located in Stanthorpe. On that farm they invested in a Priva Compact control system running two fertigation systems to take care of field and substrate grown strawberries.
They were so impressed with the accuracy, ease of use and benefit to the crop, and grower/manager, that they invested in a similar set up at another co-owned farm in the Caboolture region in late 2016. This was Andrew Krol’s first hands on experience with the Priva system as he managed this site alongside their own farms in Elimbah and Toorbul QLD. Immediately Andrew noticed the many benefits of using this Priva control and fertigation technology in comparison to a custom-built system they had designed for their needs many years prior, which was used on the Elimbah and Toorbul farms.
Now in 2019 Andrew and Paul were able to strongly justify the upgrade of the first of their own farms in Elimbah to a complete Priva Compact CC for soft fruit, Moisture Balance system using Growscale linked with a 10 dosing channel Priva Nutrijet. Andrew and Tobias (current site manager) are “over the moon” with the results already after having the system commissioned just several weeks ago.
"We can now sleep easy knowing the system is working well and alerting us if there is any issue, avoiding the constant checking and adjustments required on the previous system."
"The automated control over irrigation scheduling using the Moisture Balance system, as well as improving our control accuracy, makes our job infinitely simplified allowing time to focus on other jobs to improve our crop."
"The benefits save time, money, water, fertilizer and they are confident it will further improve the crops quality and yield."
Andrew has run some initial numbers comparing the water/fertiliser use efficiency compared to the farms where they have not yet employed the Moisture Balance system and is excited by what the figures are telling him. Just by having the improved accuracy with the Moisture Balance system’s real time automation over irrigation control, the saved water/fertiliser alone looks like it would pay off the investment in just 6 months, let alone simplification of managing the system and the yield and quality benefits. Andrew is now wondering why he didn’t make the move earlier and is looking forward to implementing the technology on their other farms.
This backs up feedback that Powerplants has received from our other clients using the technology who have also found very significant yield and quality gains in addition to the points mentioned above since implementing the technology.
Andrew and Paul are also impressed with the continuing support they receive from Powerplants keeping their systems running in the optimum state and helping to get the most out of their system with additional training opportunities and support to make continuous improvements and fine tuning.
To find out more about how the Priva Moisture Balance system works, follow this link: https://www.priva.com/au/products/connext-for-soft-fruit