Bland Farms adds onion grader

In early July, Bland Farms Inc., Glennville, Ga., was installing a new grader at its Cato, N.Y., operation.

The equipment, manufactured by MAF Industries Inc., Traver, Calif., is similar to the grader the grower-shipper uses to grade its Vidalia sweet onions in Georgia, said Michael Hively, Bland’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Hively said he expects the new machinery to be operational in early August.

Eden Valley Growers updates refrigeration

Eden Valley Growers, Eden, N.Y., has updated its refrigerated storage.

Dave Walczak, sales and operations manager, said the grower-shipper cooperative performed some cosmetic work on its four coolers during the spring.

The coop’s growers have also increased their broccoli and cauliflower acreage.

Eden Valley’s growers increased broccoli acreage from 10 acres last season to 45 acres this season, and boosted its cauliflower from 30 acres last year to 42 acres this year, Walczak said.

The cooperative began operation in 1952.

Gill Farms Sales remembers partner

Mike Justice, former partner and sales manager for Gill Farms Sales LLC, Hurley, N.Y., died in December.

The 58-year-old Hendersonville, N.C., native died Dec. 6 after a long battle with an illness.

Along with Tim Richards, salesman, and John Gill, owner of Gill Corn Farms Inc., Justice helped found Gill Farms Sales in 1995.

Gill Farms is the sales arm of Gill Corn Farms.

For many years, Justice worked in the Sanford, Fla., office of his family’s former business, Eastern Growers and Shippers, which was also called the W. L. Justice Co.

“He was one of the nicest guys, was soft-spoken and was an even-tempered, kind of a calming guy to have a discussion with,” Richards said. “He was very level-headed and a well-respected guy.”

Hansen Farms builds facility to pack cabbage

Ed Hansen Farms Inc., Stanley, N.Y., has formally changed its name to Hansen Farms LLC.

The change occurred last year and though the grower-shipper has long been doing business as the new name, Eric Hansen, vice president, said the change occurred because of legal and estate planning reasons.

To improve the handling and packing of cabbage, Hansen Farms has constructed a building.

Hansen said the structure provides temporary storage of cabbage and offers unloading of field wagons on one end and packing cartons on the other.

The 14,400-square-foot facility is all concrete and should provide improved work flow and increase efficiencies, he said.

Williams Farms adds packaging machine

Williams Farms LLC, Marion, N.Y., has installed a new packaging machine.

The year-round potato grower-shipper also updated other packing equipment, said John Williams, partner.

The new machinery allows Williams Farms to pack 5-pound poly bags and 5- and 10-pound paper bags as well as 5-pound salt bags.

Salt potatoes are the B-sized potatoes grown in the region.