With its tractors and trailers each covering up to 35,000 miles a year the choice of tyres is critical for large scale vegetable grower and processor Alan Bartlett & Sons Ltd, which grows more parsnips than any other producer in the UK and supplies leading supermarkets with fresh, UK-grown carrots all year-round.
“If a tyre manufacturer wants its products tested to the limit then we are the business to do that,” states Paul Drewery, Farms Administration Manager for Alan Bartlett and Sons in Cambridgeshire. One of the largest, most sophisticated farming and packing operations in the UK, the company supplies leading supermarkets from the 1500ha of carrots and parsnips which it grows each year on farms throughout Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcestershire.
The time-critical nature of the company’s harvesting and processing operations, which include growing 675ha of carrots and 390ha of parsnips across 107 fields up to 90-miles from its headquarters in Chatteris, mean that any delays in transporting produce back to the processing plant can cost thousands of pounds.
The business is a year-round operation. As early as December, the first of the new crop carrots are drilled and the fields covered with biodegradable polythene to warm the soil and enhance growth. The polythene stays on until mid April, when the carrots are irrigated and fertilized, ready for harvesting in June. This drilling and harvesting cycle continues month after month until the final crop is sown in June.
Then in October, the carrots destined to be harvested.
Read the full story in November 2016 Vegetable Farmer – out 27/10/16.