A. Gurda Produce improves facilities
A. Gurda Produce Co. Inc., Pine Island, N.Y., added a packing line to improve efficiency.
The new line is for onions and potatoes and was completed at the end of last year for use this season.
The company also added a new computer system to improve product traceability.
“It’s more controlled and more modernized so we’re set up to do a proper job,” Andrew Gurda, owner, said.
The system updates every minute with all shipments going in and out, including information such as who is packaging the orders, Gurda said.
Bland Farms switches to sweet onions
Bland Farms Inc., Glennville, Ga., has changed its onion production to focus entirely on sweet onions.
The company now has about 400 acres of sweet onions in New York, owner Delbert Bland said.
He said the sweet onion crop looked good in early July.
“Last year, we did about 25% of what we’ll do this year,” Bland said.
The company also added recipes to the back of its high-graphic labels on onion bags. There are a combination of several recipes that will be printed every season, Bland said, and they will be ready for harvest in July.
Eden Valley buys truck, tries new varieties
Eden Valley Growers Inc., Eden, N.Y., planted some later varieties of green peppers and lettuce to extend the season.
“We won’t know how this will turn out until later, but the last few years, the fall has been warmer, so we’ll see how it works. If the weather cooperates, it should be good,” said Dave Walczak, sales and operations manager.
The coalition of 10 farms also purchased a 2013 Peterbilt truck in February to replace an older one.
“We try to update some every year depending on the how the season goes,” Walczak said.
Hansen Farms preps for GlobalGAP audit
Hansen Farms LLC, Stanley, N.Y., plans to achieve GlobalGAP certification.
An audit for the food safety initiative is scheduled for July.
Eric Hansen, vice president, says there are a lot of different certification options available, but that the company usually chooses the system that tends to be more farm-focused than factory-focused.
J. Piedimonte Farms grows Tasti-Lee tomato
J. Piedimonte Farms, Holley, N.Y., is set to grow more than 50 acres of the Tasti-Lee tomato this year.
The large hybrid beefsteak variety, which boasts a rich, dark color and a mix of sugar and acid, was developed by Jay Scott, originally from Scottsville, N.Y., at the University of Florida.