Major Cyclone is Fit for the King of Vegetables
The Major Cyclone turns woody asparagus into fine mulch, thereby improving crop performance for Koteles Farms in Ontario, Canada.
Asparagus farming is a year-round management process for Koteles Farms Inc. The fourth-generation farming family harvests fresh asparagus spears from late April to the end of July. The rest of the year is spent on weed control, growing asparagus crowns grown from seed, and supplying markets their produce across North America.
Originally tobacco farmers, the family transitioned to asparagus production in the 1980s. Today, the 124-acre enterprise in Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada uses the latest technologies and machinery to ensure the growing and preparation process meets their high standards for quality and conformity, as well as exceeding the industry’s food safety certifications.
Farming family seeks better alternative to flail mower
Joe Koteles is the CEO of Koteles Farms Inc explains the growing regimen. “When the dormancy period starts after harvest, we normally mow the tops to clear the asparagus beds in readiness for the new season,” Joe begins. “We used to use a flail mower for this. We often needed three passes to pulverise the crop residue properly. Also, we were always sharpening blades. It turned out to be an expensive operation that was never really perfect for us, so we started looking for an alternative. Our local dealer, Colvoy Equipment, made a clear recommendation for using the Major Cyclone mower and we decided to buy it in July 2019. It’s been a really great recommendation and we are very happy with the results.”
The family purchased the MJ31-280 model of the Major Cyclone, a three-point linkage mounted heavy duty shredder. The 9-ft version comes with four rotors and sixteen blades which overlap by 2 and half inches. The contra-rotating design of the blade system means all material gets ‘double-chopped’ and finely shredded before evenly distributed behind a full-width rear roller.
Made of high-performance Strenx™ 700 MC structural steel and fitted with Hardox® 450 abrasion-resistant steel for the under-sole discs, the Cyclone is exceptionally durable. A galvanised finish ensures the ultimate protection against corrosion.
“The Cyclone pulverises the crop residue much better”
“Since we started using the Major Cyclone back in 2019, we’ve noticed a big improvement in that part of our operation,” commented Joe. “It takes a lot less to power this mower, which means a lot less fuel consumption compared with the flails we used to use. The Cyclone pulverises the crop residue much better, too. It’s woody at the very base of the plant and we’re going right down to the ground shredding the little stubs,” Joe describes. “We only need two passes to make sure that we have the right result.”
“We don’t get clumps of residue because the Cyclone spreads the pulverised material much more evenly, adding nutrients back into the soil a lot better and much quicker,” Joe maintains. “Plus, the nice mulch material keeps the wind from blowing in the spring when we’re harvesting asparagus.”
Cyclone saves time and money on maintenance
With fewer parts than a flail shredder, the Major Cyclone is easier to maintain and has lower running costs. “The Cyclone is easy to set-up. It’s all shaft-drive, there’s no belts. Each section of blades has its own gear box which eliminates a lot of wear and tear if there was only one single gearbox doing a 6ft swath,” continues Joe. “We bought the Major two years ago and we haven’t had to sharpen the blades once – and that’s a big time and cost saver.”
“We bought the mower mainly to mow down asparagus but the way the machine works it could easily chop down corn stalks, grass, you name it,” Joe explains. “It’s a very tough machine.”
“The Major Cyclone is very well manufactured, has a galvanised finish, high quality components and needs very little maintenance. We’ve bought other equipment from Europe and never had a problem with spare parts or service support and the guys at Colvoy Equipment have assured me that they have full product support and are very confident in the long-term performance and reliability of this mower.”
“If you’re in the market for a new mower, you will not be disappointed. I would highly recommend this mower,” concludes Joe.