Costa is Australia’s leading grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia with more than 3,500 hectares of farm land, 30 hectares of protected glasshouse productions and 7 mushroom growing facilities across the country.
Costa produces approximately 45% of Australia’s blueberries and 65% of Australia’s raspberries, distributed and sold under the Driscoll’s brand.
The efficient use of water and nutrients is integral to the production of berries. If berry plantations don’t have constant water supply, moisture stress can seriously impact on plants in the form of reduced yields, small fruit size and poor quality.
When Costa was looking for a solution to irrigate their newest berry plantation, located in Wesley Vale, Tasmania, they sought the expert advice of the team at Irrigation Tasmania.
“The majority of our farms use drip irrigation system, as it allows for the most efficient use of water. At times of high water demand, our focus is to minimise water penetrating below the primary root zone,” says Tony Emmerton Irrigation Manager at Costa’s Tasmanian farms.
Irrigation Tasmania worked closely with Grundfos to ensure a system was carefully selected to meet the system demands. In line with Costa’s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices, which includes the efficient use of water and energy, it was also important the system was energy efficient.
A Grundfos CRIE vertical Multi stage pump was selected as part of the system for the Wesley Vale plantation. The pump draws water from two 378,000 litre holding tanks to supply the drip irrigation system. The pump is fitted with a 3-phase, fan-cooled, permanent-magnet, synchronous motor. The motor efficiency is classified as IE5 (highest energy efficiency rating worldwide). The motor includes a frequency converter and PI controller in the motor terminal box. This enables continuously variable control of the motor speed, which again enables adaptation of the performance to a given requirement.
The new drip irrigation system featuring the Grundfos CRIE was installed and commissioned in August 2017 by Irrigation Tasmania.
Kelly Mason from Irrigation Tasmania says, “Prompt quotations and communication from Grundfos meant that we could place the order swiftly and ensure fast commissioning and fine tuning of the system to suit the specific parameters for Costa.
”Costa uses Grundfos pumps at many of its growing sites around Australia. “Grundfos are chosen not only for their reliable and energy efficient pumps, but they also provide great backup service and quick access to spare parts,” says Kelly.