Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2016 Regional Award Winner


Creekside Growers

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Nick VanderHeide, Hilary VanderHeide and MPP Deb Matthews

Nick VanderHeide, Hilary VanderHeide and MPP Deb Matthews

Dahlia tubers need to be planted by hand as conventional planting equipment can't handle the knobbly tubers. But Nicholas VanderHeide, a local cut-flower producer, developed a device using a Kongskilde cultivator as a base that digs a trench for the tubers, breaks up soil compacted by tractor tires, hills over the tubers and even applies drip tape - all in one pass. The only labour required is placing the tubers in the trench. The new system has doubled the speed of planting. By installing drip tape during planting, it also allows early-season fertilization which improves production. With minor modifications, this innovative planter can be adapted to various root crops, berry canes and other irregularly shaped crops.

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