FarmTrack
Photograph by Brad Klaver (flickr.com).
Roelof Joubert

“We have improved the packout percentages of our citrus and increased income since fitting FarmTrack to our tractors,” says Roelof Joubert of Wildebeestkraal Boerdery in Limpopo.

He and his brothers, FJ and Salmon, produce a range of soft citrus varieties on 120ha that are exported to the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, Middle East, and China.

Precision tracking makes for improved spraying

FarmTrack is a GPS tracking device that tracks the movements of tractors and farm vehicles. Wildebeestkraal Boerdery fitted FarmTrack to two tractors in July 2019 as a management tool to ensure that orchards are sprayed accurately.

“We know which orchards have been sprayed, when it was done, if any rows were skipped, as well as the amount of chemicals applied. This is especially important for citrus exporters who have to manage phytosanitary pests and diseases, as well as comply with maximum allowable chemical residue requirements,” explains Joubert.

“To access foreign markets and receive accreditation from overseas customers, we have to spray chemicals registered for use against black spot and false codling moth correctly. One infected consignment will result in us being denied entry to that market. In addition, consumers and customers are increasingly demanding the minimum amount of chemical residue on fresh fruit,” he says.

Precise management for precise control

“FarmTrack helps us to manage our chemical spraying programme precisely. We are able to control pests and diseases effectively while complying with chemical residue levels acceptable to the markets for which we produce.”

According to Joubert, it is essential that no orchard rows be skipped or sprayed more than once with each chemical application.

“Pests and diseases can occur should a row be missed, which will lead to large losses. However, the chemical residues on fruit will be increased to unacceptable levels if a row is sprayed twice. FarmTrack gives you peace of mind knowing that orchards have been sprayed correctly.”

Joubert adds that FarmTrack helps with after-hours applications. “Weather conditions often determine that spraying takes place after 17:00. You have to rely on the tractor driver to spray the orchards correctly at night. It is now easy to follow his route and check up on him using my cell phone.”

Cost savings on more than one level

FarmTrack is also useful for planning ahead to save money on chemical purchases. “We buy chemicals once a year at the beginning of the season. FarmTrack assists to determine which chemicals and the quantity required. We are able to negotiate the best price and do not buy chemicals on an ad hoc, and more expensive, basis.

“FarmTrack is an affordable and very good system. It is easy to use and not as expensive as similar imported systems offered by well-known tractor manufacturers,” concludes Joubert.

For more information, contact FarmTrack on 021 880 1163 or visit www.farmtrack.co.za.