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Orchard Management


Super Jolly 2800 Mechanical Harvester - Les McCracken

·                In October 2009 we purchased a new Super Jolly 2800 mechanical harvester from Italy.  We had seen the machine in operation in Italy the previous year and found it had advantages over the suction type machines currently in use in NZ:

- Mechanical vs suction pickup eliminates pickup blockages

- Soil removal screen eliminates damp soil problems

- Trash removal included which is not available on suction machines

- Effective air assisted 2 stage cleaning

- Higher productivity and cleaner product compared with suction machines

- Cleaner operating environment for single operator.



Tractor mounted, mechanical pickup harvester with trash removal plus 2 stage air assisted cleaning and nut transport to a bagging unit or bin.


·                Mechanical vs suction pickup eliminates pickup blockages

·                Soil removal screen eliminates damp soil problems

·                Trash removal included which is not available on suction machines

·                Effective air assisted 2 stage cleaning

·                Higher productivity and cleaner product compared with suction machines

·                Cleaner operating environment for single operator.


G.F. Costruzioni Macchine Agricole S.r.L

Via Cassia Cimina, Ronciglione, Italy, www.gf-srl.it


$29,000 GST exclusive  including freight and bagging unit.  Gf offer cheaper, smaller, single stage cleaning units.


·                Width 2200mm

·                Depth 1800mm

·                Height 1000mm

·                Weight 730kg (with side sweeper).

Tractor Requirements:

·                Front mounted on tractor

·                PTO minimum 12.5 kW or hydraulic oil flow 26 l/min

·                Side sweeper hydraulic oil flow of 10 to 12 l/min.

Operating Parameters:

Side sweeper operating width:


Harvester operating width:


Operating productivity:

0.4 ha/hr

Effective average speed:

1.7 km/hr

·                GF make a number of smaller machines that operate on the same principle.  Indicative prices for these in NZ are as follows ($NZ1.00 = €0.53):



Indicative Cost Landed

Jolly 1500

Operating width 1500mm, single stage cleaning


Jolly 1800

Operating width 1800mm, single stage cleaning


Jolly 2500

Operating width 1500mm, double stage cleaning


Jolly 2800

Operating width 2800mm, double stage cleaning


Side sweeper

Sweeps material away from the tree & under the harvester, adds 1000mm operating width


Bagging unit

Twin bagging unit mounted on rear of tractor


Hydraulic kit

For smaller tractors, powered by PTO pump


Harvester performance

·                This season we used the machine to harvest our small crop and assisted with harvesting part of the crop in one other orchard:

- The machine coped with areas of the orchard close to gum trees with quite a lot of bark on the ground and very little of this ended up in the product

- The machine coped well with heavy mowed grass clippings thrown on to the crop row during mowing with the clippings separated out by the front curved grilled before they entered the machine.  The side sweeper also coped with the sprayed out crop row which tends to be about 25 to 50mm below the turf layer

- One person can operate the machine effectively

- Independent reports state recovery of 95% of on-ground nuts in Italian orchards

- In our conditions most nuts were picked up and we believe that once the trees are fully grown and most nuts fall on the turf, recovery will be better than the 95% experienced in Italian orchards with no grass cover and uneven surfaces

- The front-mounted machine is about 7m long and our orchard layout will be modified to allow us to recover product efficiently from all trees with the machine by removing the end tree from all rows which will give us a head-land of 7.2m from the centre of the shelter-belt to the centre of the first tree

- Once the machine is lined up with the crop trees, the tractor speed harvesting was 1.5 to 2.0 kmh.  Almost as much time was spent maneuvering the machine into the next row as that spent harvesting the row hence the need to increase the headland width

- Even with the current orchard layout, a 60m x 60m block took 60 minutes to harvest which equates to 2.8 hrs/hectare or 18 hours for our orchard of 4860 trees.







Orchard Management