The Burt family settled in Te Puke in the early 1940’s. Dairying and citrus provided a modest income.
Today the business grows Hayward and G3 kiwifruit and is run by brothers John and Peter making them third generation growers.
Of the several orchards they own, two properties are each protected by two FrostBoss® C49 machines. With the acquisition of additional G3 license on the orchard at No 3 Road and the blocks being both prone to frost damage and closer to a residential area they installed the even quieter FrostBoss® C59 (5 blade machine).
We caught up with the brothers in late May at the end of picking. Their frost machines had run for three consecutive nights earlier in the week.
“The frost machines are an ‘insurance policy’ we wouldn’t be without”, says Peter.
During spring, the machines protect kiwifruit vines from damage caused by spring frosts: protecting newly emerged buds, flowers, young fruitlets and newly formed leaf canopy. During autumn, the fans protect the orchard from frosts that can cause fruit damage and burning of the the leaves, which can lead to subsequent fruit staining. By protecting the leaves, it also gives the vine time to release nutrients stored back to the roots prior to shedding.
“With the FrostBoss® fans, we use the remote monitoring option”, says Peter. This enables growers to access real-time monitoring of fans via their smartphone, together with text alarms and historical data and graphs on temperature, run-hours and machine performance. We chose Frost Boss® because they are New Zealand made. The value of the local high quality afterhours service is unparalleled.
The erection and use of frost fans in Western Bay of Plenty District is a controlled activity with changes to noise regulations in relation to their use coming into effect in 18 October 2003. Current rules apply to both fixed and portable frost protection fans and, in most cases, an application for resource consent will be required prior to establishing the fan. A guide on Frost Protection Fans (PDF, 34.0KB) is available. The regulations require the noise levels measured within the notional boundary of any dwelling within the rural zone to not exceed 55dBA Leq and 65 dBA Lmax. The FrostBoss™ C49 (4 blade fan) develops 55dB at 240 metres (51dB at 300 metres) and the FrostBoss™ C59 (5 blade fan) develops 55dB at 180 metres (49dB at 300 metres). For full details of these regulations, refer to www.westernbay.govt.nz or contact New Zealand Frost Fans on 021 276 9963, 06 879 7312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.