2022 Avo Season and New Fruit Grader

2022 Avo Season – Winter

Our harvest is just about done.  We have harvested our worst yields since 2010.  This was mostly a result of October 2021 being the wettest October on record.  This was right when our trees were flowering and poor fruit set was a consequence.  Happily, prices were better than last year with avocados mostly retailing between $1.50 – $2.00.  Quality has been good.  We have been fortunate to have a fantastic group of people working at Avowest for our harvest.  A lot of our harvest crew from 2021 returned which makes everything easier.  A big thanks to all the team at Avowest.

Commissioning New Packing Shed

The last six months has mostly been about commissioning our new packing shed.  Avowest has packed at the old location in Carabooda since 1990.  We had done a lot there to improve efficiency, but the facility just wasn’t big enough.  This problem has been a long time in the making and nearly two years ago I ordered a new packing line from Compac / Tomra.  This equipment started arriving in April and it has been extremely busy getting everything set up for our harvest.  Of the six containers, only one got lost and not for too long. 

Building the control room.

Avowest - Building Control Room

Sizer equipment – Single Lane with 24 droplets each side

Avowest new Packing Shed 2022

Carton handling equipment – automated via barcoding

Avowest - Sizer & Carton Handling equipment

Setting up the infeed system

Avowest - setting up Infeed system

Setting up the bin tipper

Avowest - setting up Bin Tipper

Humble beginnings

When I started at Avowest in 1990 we had a 6-drop fruit grader which ran from a DOS 486 PC.  A lot has changed.

New fruit grader installation

The installation of the new fruit grader went well.  There have been a lot of bugs to iron out and we haven’t quite got them all, but the staff from Compac / Tomra have been good.  The two guys based in WA – Louis and James have been particularly helpful. 

Here are some videos of the new system running …..

Video of new Continuous Bin Tipper

Video of new Single Lane Sorting machine and Carton Handling system

The finish line

In the orchard it has been relatively quiet over winter.  Now that the crop is off it is time to start thinking about pruning.  The trees are getting ready to flower.  We are all hoping October will be kinder to us this year than last year.


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