Vidalia onions business update briefs - The Packer

Vidalia onions business update briefs

03/29/2012 01:21:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

G&R Farms adds coolers, bagging machines

During March, G&R Farms, Glennville, Ga., installed a bagging machine. The addition gives the grower-shipper five bagging machines, said Walt Dasher, co-owner.

The machinery allows the grower-shipper to meet retailer demand for consumer bags, Dasher said.

G&R also installed two bin dumping machines.

Now using eight machines, the bin dumpers are designed to help G&R speed its process of getting the onions out of the field, Dasher said.

Additionally, G&R installed a 50,000-bushel cooler. The addition increases G&R’s cooling capacity to 270,000 bushels, Dasher said. G&R previously worked with 13 refrigerated rooms.

“My biggest goal in moving forward is to speed the harvesting process,” Dasher said.

“The older I get, the more I understand we can do nothing with Mother Nature. We can have a perfect crop in the field but weather issues on top of it can change things overnight.”

In other news, G&R doubled its company-owned trucks. G&R now can ship onions from six tractor-trailers, Dasher said.

Herndon installs baggers, packing line

L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms Inc., Lyons, Ga., installed a bagging machine.

The machinery allows the grower-shipper to fill Defor wrap-around bags. The addition provides Herndon Farms three bagging machines.

Herndon was also constructing a third packing line. The new line should allow Herndon to increase its daily packing capacity by 30%, said L.G. “Bo” Herndon Jr., president.

“This will allow us to get our onions out of the field faster, get loads out quicker and do things much more efficiently,” Herndon said. “These changes will help our whole operation.”

In January, Herndon promoted packinghouse manager John Williams to sales and marketing manager.

Herndon said he wanted to turn most of the sales and marketing efforts to Williams, who lives in Charlotte, N.C.

Williams, who ran Herndon’s packinghouse in 2010-11, previously worked in building and construction and in real estate sales as an agent and broker.

Williams said Herndon is overhauling its website and said his packinghouse work gave him produce industry experience to understand growing and packing needs and customer requirements.

Shuman Produce expands acreage

Shuman Produce Inc., Reidsville, Ga., increased its storage capacity to 600,000 40-pound case equivalents, up from 480,000 last season.

The additional controlled atmosphere storage should allow Shuman to extend its shipping season through August, said John Shuman, president.


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