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Topping, Windrowing, Loading, Grading and Storing

Harvesting, handling and storage of fresh vegetables that are low in dry matter is quite a big challenge for large growers.

They need to invest a significant amount of time and money in reaching the right solution with the lowest cost and minimal damage possible with mechanical harvesting.

Due to labor shortage, the table onion - which is over 90% of the market in the Middle East - has been increasingly harvested using machines. Thanks to the knowledge and experience of ICS in the region:

By introducing onion varietal and agronomic knowledge combined with equipment experience, we have helped large growers adapt machines and methods at the lowest investment.

An efficient harvest begins with a perfect control of the crop

Well before the onions are field ready we need to prepare the onion with proper inputs to produce onions that can be adapted for machine harvesting including choosing the varieties, sowing and harvesting windows, irrigation scheduling, applying balanced nutrients to harden the bulbs at maturity.

Topping and windrowing of onions

ICS supplies simple and advanced one bed or three bed toppers to top the onions precisely, that are mature before the onions are undercut using simple under-cutters.

After the onion necks are dried, the onions are then windrowed and loaded using either a single machine or a combination of two machines depending on the type of onion, soil and end use.
The onions thus harvested can be directly shipped to the market or cured using a professionally built onion cold store for longer storage or better market prices.

ICS works with various manufacturers from Europe who have long experience of handling the different types of onions, thus helping us provide satisfactory onion harvesting equipment.

Loading, grading, storing

The onions need to be transported by trailers to the grading line or packing lines. Here the trailers should be strong, require low maintenance, and properly tip the product on the grading line for further cleaning and packing.

Onions can be further graded according to market requirements, then packed in small bags or stored, either bulk in stores properly designed for long term storage, or in bags for short term storage (up to a few weeks).

ICS supplies all grading (semi mobile or stationary), bagging and telescopic loaders for handling all types of vegetables including onions.

When investment is limited

In countries where the farm sizes are small and can’t invest in larger machinery or storage, we have simple field bagging equipment that would both save labour and cost and ensure market ready production direct from the field. This solution can be applied in most of Africa where farm sizes are both small and labor in remote regions are difficult to get.

Garlic harvesting and storing

Mechanically handling a garlic harvest is very difficult as the bulbs are very sensitive to direct sun exposure and tend to turn blue. Therefore, garlic has to be rapidly dug up, topped, and protected from the sun. It is obvious that this process is difficult to stick to without a sufficient workforce. Sophisticated systems enabling the mechanical treatment of garlic can be found. However, they are expensive and we do not recommend their use. What ICS generally advises is a simple soil lift followed by a manual intervention.

Our technicians visits your farm often to check and solve problems. We have invested in a significant amount of spare parts to make this business run smoothly to the benefit of your profitability.

Visit from Muneer Kahn to an onion farm

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