Our Pine Island team finished harvesting a record crop and sent the final truckload to Ocean Spray this morning!
We had a record year, finishing with our highest yield ever (with a top-ten average barrels per acre) even with some challenges along the way. “We started sending fruit from the young beds up to the receiving station a week earlier than we ever have,” says Bryan VonHahmann. “We were sensitive to quality and balancing that with the color. Then we took nearly two weeks off, waiting for color on the established beds. But once we started back up, we went 26 days without a break and finished up in record time.”
“We had a slightly smaller crew this year but still brought in more fruit on more acres in less time, so those are some pretty major accomplishments,” he says. “We also didn’t have any frost nights, which helps with manpower, and we harvested every bed but three with the harrows, which saved us a ton of time. And the fruit quality was overall the best it’s been in several years!”
CEO Bill Haines was happy with the end results. “We had a great crop; a record crop,” he says. “I’m very proud of it, and the team that produced it. I think we’re living our value of continuous improvement in terms of the fruit and how we grow it, how we care of it, how we pick it, and how we strive to grow as many quality berries as we can as efficiently as possible.”
What’s next for our team? “We’re ready to start Monday on growing the next one.”