On July 25, 2019 Tolsma Australia ran an informal potato storage information day at Terry Buckley’s Farm just outside Mount Gamiber in South Australia. Growers from around the regin gathered to discuss how we should store potatoes in Australia and tour Terry’s Tolsma store. Furthermore Allan Greenhalgh, Director Tolsma Australia and Maarten van Delden, Sales Director gave an interesting presentation on how to minimise storage losses and the importance of your products psychological age.
Terry Buckley’s decision to invest in a new potato seed coolstore on his property in Mount Gambier is paying off, with a noticeable increase in seed quality and reduced storage losses.
The coolstore, (courtesy of Tolsma), has a 2,500 tonne capacity across four rooms, and provides all the information that Terry requires at the touch of a button. The technology monitors and controlls carbon dioxide levels, humidity, temperature, air flow and air speed within the store to create the optimal environment for storing potatoes.
The store has the ability to automatically utilise outside air when the termperarure and humidity levels are suitable. This is especially useful in reducing mechanical cooling running hours and electricity cost. This system is frequently used for refreshing (reducing CO2 levels), wound healing and cooling at night.
The coolstore is online and accessable from anywhere in the world in real time. Meaning that Terry has 24/7 support from both Australia and the Netherlands when and if requred.
While the coolstore has only been in operation for two seasons, Terry has seen a noticeable improvemnt in his potato production. In addition to growing seed potato crops, JFL Buckley & Sons also produces processing potatoes for the local and export potatoe market to Asia, so starting production with good quality seed is essential.
“The potatoes are certainly performing better – the seeds look better when they come out of the coolstore. The crops are growing longer than they used to because they’re starting with better quality seed.”
Despite being a fifth-generation farmer with around 40 years of potato growing experience, Terry is first to admit that you never stop learning when it comes to potato production.
“I’ve learned a lot over the years and there are things that I didn’t realise were as important as they are,” Terry says.
“I heard the information about physiologically old seed but I’d never really taken it seriously enough. We always thought our crops had irrigation and fertiliser issues, but it’s only after I changed the coolstore technology that I realised how wrong I actually had it. I suppose you’ve got to change to realise where you were.”
Source: Tolsma Australia