Storage requires constant attention

For the most part, Dutch onions have been brought in under good conditions, but it has been a strange growing season. Structural challenges in the soil, drought, heat, hail, dust and a lot of precipitation at certain times – we have experienced just about everything this season. July and August were very strong growing months, so there were still reasonable yields. The average yield has fluctuated widely over the last few years.

Nathan Rommens: ‘We are seriously wondering whether the application of MH spray was effective this year. Already this year we’re seeing problems with dormancy, and the recommendation is to check regularly and set up a germination test. In addition, it’s important to continue monitoring skin quality constantly, as after January this will also present challenges with respect to storage. The sloughing off of onions can be recognised by cracks in the skin and/or cracks on the wreath.’

If you need help with your germination test, or would like assistance in checking your quality in storage, please contact Jelmer Elzinga (+31 6-82537293) and Nathan Rommens (+31 6-30002712). They’ll be happy to help!

Optimisation of output line

‘The input installations of the Waterman Onions sorting lines needed replacing,’ says Waterman Onions production manager Arjan Dunnewind. ‘Of course, a replacement like this coming up means an opportunity for further optimisation.’ We’re working hard on that right now. The supply lines for the different sorting lines have always been separate from each other. Soon it will be possible to combine them, creating more space to run from hoppers. ‘This means more space, enabling our carrier to switch between machines more rapidly and therefore saving time for both them and us.’

Adaptation of sorting line 3
Arjan continues: ‘We are also working hard to remove a bottleneck from the input to sorting line 3, which will enable a great leap forward in output. A group of smart people at Zuyderzee College is already calculating three scenarios for predicting the output from sorting line 3 with the new input. Those three scenarios include the current situation and two possible steps we can take from there.’
The adaptation is not only good for our carrier and a number of local machine builders, it’s also an instructive case for a group of students, and provides improved working conditions for our forklift drivers and a better result for Waterman Onions. In short, a great project!