Big red Grimme potato harvesters are anything but a common sight here in Canada, but spud growers will likely recognize the name of one of Grimme’s brand subsidiaries, U.S.-based Spudnik, which it acquired in 2003. Spudnik has been a major potato equipment supplier in North America for a long time.
The Grimme brand harvesters are generally smaller in capacity than their Spudnik cousins and until now have been better suited to European growers’ needs. But at a field day in Germany in September, the company debuted a larger model, the EVO 290. With consumer preferences changing and specialty potatoes gaining a larger market share at supermarkets, Grimme marketing staff thinks the EVO 290 could be a good fit for Canadian growers who want to take advantage of those new variety opportunities in the evolving North American retail food market.
The new EVO 290 builds on the same basic design as the existing SE 260, which was introduced in 2012, but it adds capacity and includes some updates. For example, the 290 pushes bunker capacity to nine tonnes from six on the 260, and it rides on three wheels instead of two to reduce soil compaction. The EVO 290 uses some mechanical drive systems to reduce horsepower requirements, but it also includes several hydraulically driven components that allow for speed adjustments and reversing when a component plugs up.
An optional 5.5 tonne “non-stop” bunker is available, which relies on a moving floor system for more efficient use of on-board storage capacity and allows for non-stop harvesting. The brand claims this feature can increase capacity by another 20 per cent over a conventional bunker.