FEATURED: Costa 'Blush' operation a technology hot house

By: Anna Game-Lopata

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Costa Blush Tomatoes Senior Grower Manager Keshav Timalsena dreams of surpassing high tech operations overseas by producing 100kg of tomatoes per square-metre, per year in an Australian glasshouse.

FEATURED: Costa 'Blush' operation a technology hot house
Costa Blush Tomatoes Senior Grower Manager Keshav Timalsena is a big dreamer.

In 2012, the Costa tomato operation ‘Blush’ made a southern hemisphere record. Its hydroponic large truss variety hit 71.2kg per square-metre.

It was grower Keshav Timalsena’s proudest achievement.

Although the numbers fell the following year, the Nepalese-born Senior Grower Manager is confident the achievement can be repeated and surpassed at his company’s 20-hectare, state of the art glasshouse in Guyra, New South Wales.

Timalsena doesn’t hesitate to add being a Nuffield scholar through Blush is another great source of pride.

The Costa business has nurtured and developed him in line with its ‘People First’ philosophy, and enabled him to both contribute to and benefit from its horticultural research and development (R&D) programs.

Based in Victoria, Costa is Australia's largest private producer, marketer and exporter of premium quality fresh fruit and vegetables.

The company farms over 4,000ha of land across Australia and presides over more than 40 farming, wholesale market and distribution operations nationally.

As well as supplying all the major Australian supermarket chains, independent grocers and a range of food industry stakeholders, Costa exports approximately 20 per cent of its product to North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Pioneered in 2005 by Dutch greenhouse expert Godfrey Dol, the Blush tomato growing operation is one of the largest and most technologically advanced in Australia.

It comprises two 10ha production glasshouses, a nursery and a dedicated R&D glasshouse facility. Another 10ha is soon to be constructed.

Find out more about this amazing glasshouse operation in the September issue of NewFarmMachinery, on-sale September 8. Subscribe to the magazine to have it delivered.

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