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TracMap signs agreement to improve tomato harvest efficiency

TracMap signs agreement to improve tomato harvest efficiency

Dunedin-based agricultural GPS business TracMap has extended its market further into Australia, signing a major new supply agreement with Kagome Foods, the country’s largest tomato grower.

Kagome, part of the Japanese group of the same name, grows a range of process vegetables. It is the largest tomato grower in Australia.

The company will use the TracMap systems to improve harvest efficiency and reduce risk of quality errors.

TracMap is NZ's largest GPS company, used by most of the fertiliser-spreading trucks in the country. Founded in 2006, it has since expanded into several other areas, including aerial spraying, search and rescue, viticulture, and rural fire trucks and helicopters in Australia.

TracMap's National Sales Manager Lance Nuttall is excited about TracMap’s significant expansion into process crops, and sees this sale as the first of many. "We are already supplying a similar system into viticulture, so this is quite a simple and logical extension of what we already do for grape harvesting," he said.

Mr Nuttall believes the key to TracMap's success and rapid growth is how easy the system is to use by busy people working under pressure. "We operate in a unique niche. Our customers are operating vehicles in demanding situations, and need systems that do what they want, but don't distract the driver from operating their machine.”

Kagome has 11 harvesters operating 24 hours a day a for over 2 months, and Kagome GM of Field Operations Jason Fritsch is excited by the potential of TracMap’s GPS technology during this full-on period. "With 2100 hectares of crop spread over a 150km range, logistics is a big issue for us, something the TracMap system will solve for us."

The main benefits are accurate capture of yields as they are happening, and accurate recording of the areas harvested.

"For Kagome, quality is everything. We have been looking for a system that can supply the efficiency and quality assurance improvements we wanted for three years now. The TracMap system allows us to better track from field to factory without the same level of paperwork and human involvement, which reduces costs and potential for errors."

The TracMap systems will be initially installed on the harvesters to task them to the correct fields, as well as capture row weights, and match loaded bins to the correct varieties and fields. Later they will be installed on sprayers and other equipment, to provide better tasking and tracking of crop treatments.

Kagome Foods was part of Cedenco before being purchased by Kagome Group, Japan, in 2010.


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