VIDEO: Olive harvest underway at Boundary Bend

By: Anna Game-Lopata, Photography by: VIDEO BY: Andrew Britten

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Australia’s largest extra virgin premium olive oil producer Boundary Bend Limited leads the world in the development of new harvesting technologies. Anna Game-Lopata was there for this year’s harvest.

It’s first light on a chilly May morning at Boort olive grove, 120 kilometres northwest of Bendigo in Victoria, where the annual harvest producing Australia’s two top selling olive oils Cobram Estate and Red Island has been underway 24/7 for two weeks.

Looming out of the mist, the giant, robotic Colossus harvesters with chaser bins in tow resemble Transformers out of a kids’ movie as they slowly trundle over each row of olive trees in their path.

The heads of these great, ponderous machines are enormous oscillating brushes with long, tubular fingers making the whole tree shudder as they tap and paddle through the branches.

Shifts rotate 12 to 12, over the six to eight week period allowing operators both daylight and night time hours, which the company thinks works best.

The Boort grove’s on site processing facilities are also working around the clock to crush the olives in a timely manner, and because it’s simply more economical to keep them ticking away than to shut them down.

They are capable of processing more than 46 tonnes of olives per hour or 1,104 tons per day.

With almost 850,000 trees on more than 2,550 hectares, Boort Estate is one of the world’s largest olive groves.

Harvesting is also taking place a few hours north at the company’s Boundary Bend grove and not far from Swan Hill, the Wemen grove, accounting for another 4000 hectares.

All up, Boundary Bend owns a total of 2.5 million olive trees.

The recipient of numerous awards for its groves and Cobram Estate premium olive oil, Boundary Bend is also a manufacturer of olive harvesters, the owner of Australia’s largest olive tree nursery and olive oil bottling, storage and laboratory facility.

It’s a company which prides itself on being an innovator in all aspects of the olive industry. 

Find out the secrets of Boundary Bend’s success in the July issue of NewFarmMachinery on sale July 14. Subscribe to the magazine to have it delivered to your doorstep.

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