Clarksburg, Ontario-based Bay Growers Inc. installed upgrades to its facilities for the fall apple crop, including vision sorting technology that’s added 40% to packing capacity.
Bay Growers, a division of Everything Produce, packs royal gala, Ambrosia, Honeycrisp, macintosh, red delicious, northern spy, cortland and empire apples from more than 3,000 acres in Ontario and Grey County. Harvesting runs August to November.
The packing facility change uses current vision sorting technology from MAF Roda Agrobotic Group with Pomone 6 upgrades, according to a news release. Storage was upgraded in the summer as pressure swing adsorption nitrogen generators from Sparta, Mich.-based Storage Control Systems Inc. replaced existing nitrogen generation equipment.
The new generators — PSA generators for short — rely on gas adsorption by a carbon molecular sieve, resulting in a rapid increase in available nitrogen that allows controlled-atmosphere rooms to be pulled down more quickly.
Crop size and quality are much improved, the company reports, over 2012 when warm March temperatures led to early budding and extensive spring frost damage.
Bay Growers also redesigned its packaging and logo. Its website includes detailed information on company history, products and capabilities.
Steve Bamford, appointed chairman and president of Bay Growers in 2012, acquired multiple Grey County orchards now known as Bamford Family Farms, according to the release.
Bay Growers offers processing as well as growing, packing and storage.