TracMap signs with tomato grower

TracMap technology is installed on a tomato harvester in Australia. Photo supplied.
TracMap technology is installed on a tomato harvester in Australia. Photo supplied.

Dunedin-based GPS mapping company TracMap has signed a supply agreement with Australia's largest tomato grower.

Kagome Foods, which is owned by Japan's Kagome Group, will use TracMap systems to improve harvest efficiency and reduce risk of quality errors.

Since TracMap's establishment in 2005, it has grown to provide GPS technology across the agriculture, search and rescue, utilities and aviation sectors.

National sales manager Lance Nuttall was excited about its ''significant'' expansion into process crops, seeing the sale to Kagome as the first of many.

''We are already supplying a similar system into viticulture so this is quite a simple and logical extension of what we already do for grape harvesting,'' he said.

Mr Nuttall believed the key to TracMap's success and rapid growth was how easy the system was to use for busy people, working under pressure.

''We operate in a unique niche. Our customers are operating vehicles in demanding situations and need systems that do what they want but don't distract the driver from operating their machine.''

Kagome had 11 harvesters operating 24 hours a day for more than two months. With 2100ha of crop spread over a 150km range, logistics was a big issue, field operations general manager Jason Fritsch said.

The main benefits of the TracMap system were the accurate capture of yields as they were happening and accurate recording of the areas harvested.

''We have been looking for a system that can supply the efficiency and quality assurance improvements we wanted for three years now.

''The TracMap system allows us to better track from field to factory without the same level of paperwork and human involvement, which reduces costs and potential for errors,'' Mr Fritsch said.

The systems would initially be installed on the harvesters to task them to the correct fields, as well as capture row weights, and match loaded bins to the correct varieties and fields.

They would later be installed on sprayers and other equipment, to provide better tasking and tracking of crop treatments.

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