Written by  Inspired Ag

Inspired solutions for orchard problems

If you’re looking for some inspiration as to how you might tackle labour shortages while optimising the value of your crop, you need to see Inspired Ag.

The team don’t just have the most innovative gear on the market, they are fifth generation orchardists themselves and know exactly what you are facing.
With the first tip being that now is the time for orchardists to plan ahead for capital investments. There are critical world-wide supply issues that are impacting manufacturers and logistics providers, which means that growers need to get their orders in earlier than usual.
Inspired Ag was founded by growers Chris and Alex Turnbull, working closely alongside product designer and researcher Corey Beecroft. Inspired Ag’s chief operating officer Catriona Saunders said the business had brought together all sorts of innovative equipment to assist horticultural operations — from pome and stone fruit to citrus and grapes.
With COVID-19 restrictions creating critical labour shortages, Ms Saunders said the Inspired Ag team was seeing a lot of interest in labour-saving equipment, such as platforms.
“Our customers are seeing incremental savings from the BILLO platforms; not only in harvest, but year-round,” she said.
The flat-deck models give plenty of scope for supporting year-round orchard activities; while the conveyor model takes harvest efficiencies to a new level and broadens out the picking labour pool.
All models can be built bespoke with a large number of add-on accessories and modifications.
“A newer piece of labour-saving technology—the leaf remover—is gaining traction in Australia following success in the US and New Zealand.
“It is being used in the apple industry about 10 to 14 days before harvest to remove leaves that are covering apples and exposing the fruit to sunlight.
“For optimal results, orchardists are using the Olmi, followed by our ExtraSun reflective matting to get fantastic colouring.”
Retractable hail nets & rain covers
Inspired Ag also produces a range of retractable hail nets and rain covers, designed by Corey Beecroft.
Ms Saunders said Inspired Ag measures each block, then gets the netting made-to-order by its manufacturers.
“Orchardists save on project costs and it gives them the flexibility to work around blocks that aren’t symmetrical.”
Ms Saunders said the company had developed a complementary steel structure system to support the netting.
Steel structures
These same steel structures can also be used for trellising.
Critically, the steel structures have been designed to be self-installed. The Inspired Ag team provide draughtsman drawings and a comprehensive instruction guide to assist with getting the job done.

Contact the team on 1800 224 996
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View the full equipment range : www.inspiredag.com.au

See this article in Tree Fruit Oct 2021