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New on-farm technology speeds up supply

Barden Produce is a vegetable and herb producer with operations throughout Eastern-Australia. They have just commenced their first production cycle using a newly established Redpath Greenhouse at Gatton in the Lockyer Valley.

The fully automated protected cropping structure will see the first harvest of basil occur in late August. The structure maintains an appropriate growing temperature and light density using sensors and automatic heating, cooling and an automatic curtain to reduce light intensity. The technologically advanced hydroponic system has enabled 28,000 basil plants to be grown in a 21 day period during August – which is as quick as the summer production period and 8 days quicker than anticipated.

“The new greenhouse allows us to manage the production with very little hands-on labour once seedlings are planted. The system also supports our environmental sustainability ethos” said Lesley Schimke, Herb Category Manager for Barden Produce at Gatton.

Lesley added: “The installation of the structure will provide Barden Produce with the ability to maintain year-round supply to the major retailers, food service processors and independent grocers throughout the eastern seaboard of Australia and capitalise of growing export markets”.

The innovative farming system provides a circular recycling system providing a water saving of approximately 90% compared to conventional production. The hydroponic system is also herbicide free and it is expected that pesticide usage will be significantly reduced given the structure is fully enclosed and the faster production cycle.

“The new greenhouse incorporating the high-tech innovations complements our other farming systems that include conventional field and table-top hydroponic production” said Russell Neumann, Production Manager at the Gatton farm. “The greenhouse will mitigate any climate change impacts including disastrous hail storms that commonly wreak havoc throughout the Lockyer Valley,” he added.

As a market leader in the herb, specialty vegetable and leaf line categories, Barden Produce invest heavily in new product development and technology to ensure freshness and quality without compromise. One of the company’s strengths is that they have the ability deliver fresh product year round within 24 hours of harvest.

For more information:
Bron Ford
Tel: +61 401439324

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