What's Happening on the Farm
Looking in the Future
Mt. Ridge Farms is consistently progressing forward in the fruit farming industry. Actively working towards new planting systems, irrigation, high density plantings, efficient hedging, and utilizing platforms. Implementing these progressive strategies helps improve the work experience for our employees, and increase the value of our time spent on the farm.
Efficient equipment at work. Featured is our Root Pruner. Two very strong steel blades cut into the ground cutting the roots of the trees. This process allows for slower growth of the tree and helps tame the vigor in our younger plantings. At Mt. Ridge we are always looking to manage our crop in the most efficient and effective way possible. Great and reliable equipment is so important.
Updating equipment is always on the to do list. Recently Mt. Ridge has added the AUSA all terrain forklift to the operation. AUSA 4x4 forklift range. AUSA rough terrain forklifts are exceptionally compact, powerful and versatile. Their reduced size and small turning radius give them excellent manoeuvrability on the toughest and steepest terrains.
Increasing color is vital in the growing demand for the "perfect apple". Here at the farm we are trying new ways to efficiently increase color but still maintaining productivity and being cost effective. The Olmi501F mechanical leaf remover blows the leaves with pressurized air. With the right pressure, angel and skill this machine can increase light interception greatly and improve coloring.
American Wire Fencing
Aggressively fencing the farm to protect against pest. Fencing helps to prevent deer damage to the trees in all stages. The trees become stunted due to the massive amount of damage deer can do. Protecting the trees with the American Metal Fencing is an effective progressive way to deter this kind of devastating damage.
High Density Plantings
Ranging from 12x2 to 11x18", Mt. Ridge Farms is transitioning block after block of orchards from the old fashion 20x20 planting that the original GA Slaybaugh, first generation, planted, to now high density, high volume orchards you see today.
NEW Planting Systems
Mt. Ridge Farms is integrating new planting systems. Testing a steep V systems on the newly planting KORU.
Utilizing time and being efficient is the goal at Mt. Ridge Farms. Making use of the self-driving four person picking platforms, Mt. Ridge has been able to increase picking efficiency and eliminate safety hazards like ladders. Several workers can work cohesively together to pick, prune, and thin.
Light Reflecting Cloth
This Premier Honeycrisp block,(featured to the left) is a test block of the Mylar Reflective material. Mt. Ridge Farms is one of the first to experiment with reflective cloth in the Adams County area. So far, results show promising turn out.
As our farm grows and farming becomes more challenging, we strive to finds ways to make the operation run smoother. Recent investment has been in the Bin Scout. Simplifying the ground picking process by utilizing this amazing piece of equipment. Empty bins are loaded on to the Bin Scout. As the cart self-propels its way down the orchards, workers can fill the bin. Once the bin is full, the bin is off loaded in the row and another empty bin fills its place. We are finding great success with this piece of equipment and look forward to see how it continues to help our farm progress.
High Efficiency Hedging
By implementing a hedger, Mt. Ridge has been able to greatly decrease pruning hours. Hedging helps to set the block. Keeping limbs in the desired 2D systems, helps reduce hand pruning over the course of the year.
Phil Brown Nursery Planter
Planting approximately 4-10 aces a day with the efficient Phil Brown Nursery Planter. Depending on planting system our crew of 5 can roll through and effectively plant several acres a day.
Custom Wire Running System
Our well trained crew runs high tension wire on all our new planting systems. Photo featured is a 8 spool wire set up. With this system our team can run thousands of feet of wire a day! Now that's efficiency.
As a growing farm we strive to keep up with tree management. Correct tree training is critical in the beginning stages of any tree system. Although managing hundreds of acres at a time can be challenging, we work hard to keep our orchards maintained and trained to provide our customers the best crop we can grow!
New & Improved Spray Sheds
At Mt. Ridge Farms we work hard to improve our worker experience by providing them with well equipped spray shed. Our spray operators have an organized, well equipped and safe location to fill up and mix their tanks during spray season. These new and improved spray sheds all have full service restrooms for all our workers to use, which allows for clean and sanitary rest station
2017 is the year of automatic irrigation. Mt. Ridge Farms is one of the first in the Adams County Area to invest in
Automatic irrigation system. In the East-cost there is limited irrigation systems in place, due to the total amount of rain fall averages 20" per year. With this new system, our newly planted sleeping eyes will be managed with consistency, allowing for more delicious and beautiful fruit.
At Mt. Ridge Farms we use reusable reflective ground screens that allow our trees to absorb more light by allowing the middle and lower parts of the tree to receive the same amount of light as the upper parts of our trees. By doing so, it improves the quality of our apples.