JCB grows avocadoes in Queensland


A fire that destroyed the pumping station at an avocado farm outside of Bundaberg, provided the timely reason for a completely new JCB DieselMax powered pump installation. Source: AFDJ eNews

Now, two years after commissioning, the JCB DieselMax is delivering fuel savings of more than 30%, compared with the previous engine.

Nashy Produce is a respected farming business, which grows avocados, snow peas and tomatoes.

Situated at Kinkuna and alongside the Elliot River in Queensland, the farm has an excellent water allocation.

The 6 hectare plot of avocado trees at Nashy Produce was first planted four years ago, with additional trees planted three years ago and then two years ago. All up, there are 6500 avocado trees.

The local Power Equipment Dealer, Sunfam, has enjoyed a long association with Nashy Produce so designed and installed the watering system for the avocado plantation four years ago before the first trees were planted.

This involved laying 6000m of water lines plus the sprinkler system and pumping station. When the pumping station was destroyed by fire, Adam De Zotti, the horticulturist at Nashy Produce took the opportunity to work with Sunfam and design an even better pumping station.

“Our watering needs vary enormously throughout the year depending on rainfall and the growth cycle of the avocado fruit,” Mr De Zotti said.

“Our new pumping station needed to be matched to our existing sprinkler system, our water allocation rights and the peak demand during summer. During the growing season the sprinklers run for up to 20 hours a day.

“Our EnviroSCAN soil monitoring equipment provides us with an excellent guide for soil condition and watering.”

The JCB DieselMax powered pump is mounted close to the water source with a 200mm diameter pipe feeding the pump while a 150mm diameter outfeed pipe is used.

Integrated into the irrigation installation is a simple fertiliser injection system, which allows Mr De Zotti to fertilise the avocado plantation as and when needed.

The pump itself is driven by the JCB DieselMax via a belt and pulley system allowing the engine to operate at the 1400 rpm while the pump turns over at the correct speed to deliver water at the rate of 90,000 litres per hour at 60psi pressure at the pump.

The JCB DieselMax is a 4 cylinder, naturally aspirated diesel engine which is ideally suited for industrial applications. JCB DieselMax carries a market leading warranty policy of 3 years or 4000 hours on major components or 2 years or 4000 hours on minor components.

Quiet operation is an added bonus as is the low fuel consumption.

Supporting the JCB DieselMax installation at Nashy Produce is the Power Equipment Engine Protection System (EPS). This monitors engine performance and is programmed to shut down the engine in the event of overheating, belt breakage or lack of oil pressure.

“We have logged up 2000 hours on the JCB DieselMax at an average of about 200 hours per month,” Mr De Zottie said.

“While the JCB DieselMax may have been a bit more expensive to purchase, it has more than paid for itself with the fuel savings. At about 8 litres per hour, this is the best fuel consumption for a diesel engine that I have ever come across.”