New Zealand’s Tow and Blow

Tow and Blow is a portable wind machine developed in New Zealand by engineer Kim McAulay. He used to import wind machines from the United States but designed his own portable machine to address some of the ­inefficiencies he experienced with the ­stationary versions.

Wind machines had moved from having engines on top of the tower (accessed by a tall ladder) to being ground powered, but he found that having large diesel engines on the ground to power the fans used a lot of energy and the machines were expensive to maintain. He described it as “pushing water uphill.”

His portable machine has a 23-horse-power engine at the top of a seven-meter (23-foot) extendable tower and is mounted on a towable trailer. The shrouded impeller has eight one-meter (three-foot) blades and an adjustable rotation speed. The machine can protect up to 10 acres and uses five liters (1.3 gallons) of fuel per hour.

A prototype won the innovation award at the 2012 Eastern Horticultural Field Days in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Prototypes are being tested, and McAulay hopes soon to begin mass production.

Fall Creek buys nursery

Fall Creek Farm and Nursery, Inc., of Lowell, Oregon, has bought the assets of Pleasant Hill Nursery, Inc., in Pleasant Hill, Oregon.

Fall Creek is a blueberry nursery and genetics company supplying nursery stock to commercial fruit growers, nurseries, wholesalers, and retailers worldwide. It is a pioneer in new variety development and blueberry research. Pleasant Hill Nursery is a 60-acre wholesale and retail nursery. Both are family-owned businesses in their third decade of operation with a second generation involved in the management.

Riel receives sales honors

Bryan Riel of Burrows Tractor in Yakima, Washington, was named outstanding student when he graduated recently as an agriculture equipment consultant from the ­International Ag University’s three-year sales ­program.

Cherry sorter to be installed

Compac Sorting Equipment of New Zealand and Van Doren Sales of Wenatchee, Washington, are planning to install one of the world’s largest cherry sorters at Prima Frutta in Linden, California, next year. The equipment will consist of a Compac small-fruit sorter with 36 lanes capable of grading 42,000 cherries per minute on the basis of color, surface blemishes, dimension, softness, and bruising. Van Doren Sales will provide the infeed and peripherals.