How Orchard Mowers Improve Crops
Orchard mowers are the unexpected hero of orchard farming. Mowing is a simple yet effective method to improve the quality of your fruit, reduce the incidence of pests, and improve soil conditions. Orchard mowers actually have two functions: to mow and to mulch. Mowers are used to cut grass and remove the grass cuttings. In contrast, mulchers are used to leave an evenly deposited layer of mulch.
In this blog we will look at the purpose of orchard mowers and mulchers in more detail and introduce our own innovative machines available in New Zealand and beyond.
Why Does Orchard Mowing and Mulching Matter?
Orchard mowing and mulching form part of good orchard floor management. Orchard floor management techniques are used to sustain the healthy and fertile trees, by removing weeds, compacting soil, preparing seedbeds, and assisting with the infiltration of water and other nutrients.
Mowing ensures that your orchard trees are not competing with weeds to reap the benefits of water, nutrients, or pesticides, by cutting the grass bed below and between your crops. In turn, this provides easy access to your trees when the fruit is ready for picking.
In contrast, mulching is used to deposit an organic mulch layer over the orchard floor made up of the grass cuttings. Mulching works to control weeds, insulate and retain moisture, reduce root-rotting, and provide a sustained low-level of nutrition.
What are the Benefits of an Orchard Mower and Mulcher?
In normal circumstances, mowing and mulching incur considerable labour costs. Mulching and mowing can be labour intensive and time consuming, and this is worsened by the fact that normal horticultural strategies are difficult to implement on large-scale farms.
Specially built orchard mowers solve these problems by providing heavy-duty tractor-led mower-mulcher systems that are large enough to cover the entire orchard area with minimal manual labour or time investment.
These mower-mulchers can relocate the organic materials from the orchard floor into an evenly covered organic mulch that is favourable to tree growth. Grass cuttings add organic matter to the soil and take longer to degrade than store-bought mulch, which helps maintain soil health.
Additionally, sprinkler, furrow, and flood irrigated orchards need to be mowed prior to cultivation to encourage water flow. An orchard mower enables farmers to mow these large areas with little difficulty and a high level of precision.
What are the Disadvantages of Orchard Mowers and Mulchers?
Old mowing machinery has several drawbacks, namely, they are difficult to clean, lack the precision required not to damage some trees, and have large exposed “flails” or “plates” (blades and knives) along the drum.
The discharge location of the mulch was also limited to the front of the machine, which limits the reach of the mulch layer.
Furthermore, not all old machines have a dual mower-mulch function and old mowing machinery tends to suffer from significant grease points.
Finally, old mowing machinery typically lacks the automation and intelligence we have come to expect in the farming industry.
How are Galaxy Group Orchard Mowers and Mulchers Different?
Our innovative dual mowing-mulching machines were developed after extensive consultations with experienced farmers and industry experts.
With nearly 40 years of experience in farm machinery design and manufacturing, we have developed an unsurpassable mower range that overcomes many of the challenges faced by orchardists in the past.
For example, the unique design of our Multi Spindle Mowing Range and Flexwing Range means that there are no protruding plates, for a greater safety profile and easy cleaning. Our mower-mulchers also have little to no greasing requirements and a high level of dexterity. Side and rear discharge features ensure you get the job done perfectly in one run around your orchard.
In the realm of purpose-built mulchers, our Flexwing Range is a cut above the rest, having been aerodynamically built to achieve the ultimate cut finish.
Improve Your Farm Operations with an Orchard Mower
Contact Galaxy Group for expert advice regarding any of our range of orchard mowers. We will be happy to help you improve your business operations with one of our leading products.