Case study: JCB keeps QLD farm pumping

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The JCB DieselMax powered pump is helping save fuel on a Bundaberg produce farm. The JCB DieselMax powered pump is helping save fuel on a Bundaberg produce farm. The JCB DieselMax powered pump is helping save fuel on a Bundaberg produce farm.

A fire that destroyed the pumping station at an avocado farm outside of Bundaberg two years ago provided a timely reason for a new JCB DieselMax-powered pump to be installed.

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While the previous engine was reliable, it was heavy on fuel, draining the fuel tank every week and a half.

Now the JCB DieselMax is delivering fuel savings of more than 30 per cent compared to the previous engine, according to Nashy Produce horticulturist Adam De Zotti.

Nashy Produce grows avocados, snow peas and tomatoes, and the farm has an excellent water allocation, thanks to the proximity of the Elliot River.

The 6ha plot of avocado trees at Nashy Produce was first planted four years ago, and there are now about 6500 avocado trees on the farm.

The local power equipment dealer Sunfam designed and installed the watering system for the avocado plantation four years ago, before the first trees were planted.

This involved laying 6km of water lines, plus the sprinkler system and pumping station. When the pumping station was destroyed by fire, De Zotti 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," De Zotti says.

"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 is a simple fertiliser injection system that allows De Zotti to fertilise the avocado plantation easily.

The pump itself is driven by the JCB DieselMax via a belt and pulley system allowing the engine to operate at 1400 rpm while the pump delivers 90,000 litres of water an hour.


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