Polehn Farms eliminates all but one sorter with GP Graders new cherry line

Tim Polehn, of Polehn Farms, The Dalles, OR, has streamlined his production processes by utilising one sorter rather than multiple. Ever since Tim installed his new 8 lane AirJetTM electronic cherry grading line, Tim says that, "I sent them all up stairs to make stairs to make boxes to keep up with production. We don't need them sorting any more."

Packing on average 5 ½ – 6 ton per hour, Tim has tightened the parameters on his AirJetTM grader to remove virtually all defects. “I’m running up to 1,500lb per lane per hour and I would say I’m removing 90% of all defects including softness, bruising, rot, splits, cracks, etc. After the rain we had a lot of heavy cracks so I called back some sorters for a few days until I worked out how to remove them using the software. After that, I sent them up stairs to the mezzanine to make more boxes.” Donella Polehn says, “Without the GP Graders line this year we don’t know how we would have survived with the rain we had. It has been a life saver for us, an investment that has paid a huge dividend.”

Polehn Farms are a premium export packer to Thailand, China and Central America. Traditionally packing only their own fruit, they have opened themselves up to contract packing, and are enjoying the fruits of their labor. “Growers are showing a lot of interest after seeing what we are doing here. The prices we are achieving are great and the buyers are very complimentary of the packed product. We have had no rejections, only praise from our export customers,” says Tim.

Tim purchased the GP Graders line in November 2012. The machine arrived in March with plenty of time for an early installation. “The GP Graders guys are fantastic. They have become good friends of my family and are very honest and stick to their word. They are not pushy sales guys, they offer exactly what you need. They are a really first class organization. The machine arrived very early and fully complete. It was pretty much ready to go from day one. The support has been great, the training extremely useful and I am always supported. I have not missed a beat since I started the line. I would highly recommend them and would never consider going to anyone else,” says Tim. “I would like to expand the line another two lanes then another 10 lane line in the future.”