New mower is the “apple of the orchard’s eye” - Fruit & Vine

New mower is the “apple of the orchard’s eye”

Bill Medel of E&B Medel Orchards recently purchased a Major Cyclone mower to maintain the grass between rows of apple trees – he gave Fruit & Vine his opinion.

Medel Orchard's Major Cyclone mower on fruit and viticulture article

“Quality of product dominates every part of our business. Our family loves what we do and it shows in our harvested fruit products,” explains Bill Medel. The family business grows apples, peaches, pears and plums on over 180-acres.

“We grow about 14 different apple varieties. We have our own controlled storage and packing facilities that enables us to ship quality produce year-round to our customers,” Bill says.

Medel Orchards is an active member of Ontario Apple Growers (OAG). As such, the family is always improving production processes and sharing their efforts with other fruit growers to support the overall progress of their industry.

“One big improvement we made recently was to invest in a new mower to maintain the grass areas in between the rows of fruit trees,” Bill continues. “The finish it leaves is so good that it has actually helped us improve our harvesting output because the fruit picking teams are able to move more freely between the tree rows.”

Bill is referring to the Major Cyclone mower. “We were using another brand of mower, but it was never strong enough, had a belt drive and was always unreliable. The repair costs for the previous machine alone were too much. We’d need to replace the mower every three or four years, which really wasn’t the best return on investment,” he explains.

The 2.5m Major Cyclone has four rotors with 16 blades and a cutting height adjustment between 40mm to 200mm. It comes with a full-width rear roller to minimise scalping and the rotors overlap by 60cm to ensure nothing is left uncut.

“We bought the 2.5m model because it perfectly suited our row spacings. Because there is a rear roller on the Major Cyclone it leaves a pristine finish and it makes our orchards look absolutely professional,” Bill explains.

“What I really like about the Major is that it doesn’t have a belt drive, which always becomes a reliability problem. Instead, it has a heavy-duty gearbox and shaft drive, so even when the grass is heavy it just takes it in its stride. It cuts and chops the residue and leaves a perfect finish throughout the orchard. “Being on a fruit farm you have quite a few pieces of different equipment. We buy new equipment every year and my absolute favourite machinery investment is without a doubt the Major Cyclone,” he concludes. “We highly recommend it to other growers.”

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