New grape harvester steps up
A French company which designs and manufactures grape harvesting machinery has been showing off its latest harvester in Marlborough.
The Pellenc Optimum Selectiv' Process II harvester is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.
The company spent €7 million (NZ$11.3m) and more than 120,000 hours of research and development on the new technology.
Pellenc Agriculture sales and marketing export director Florence Menard said the new harvester featured advanced technology.
Hydralada South Island salesman Andrew Higgins said the machine had a new harvester head, a quieter cab with a more simple layout and a pictogram touch screen.
"It's been a development over 12 years. It is a whole new machine from the ground, up," Mr Higgins said.
It also included a conveyor which sends the fruit and juice to the top of the harvester rather than to the back, Mr Higgins said.
"There is no fruit and juice lost through the fans, it goes directly to the top. This is normally hard to do."
The top of the machine also opened up, so it was also easier to clean, he said.
Depending on the make and model of the harvester, the price ranges from $350,000 to $420,000, excluding GST.
The Marlborough Express