Sunday, 27 May 2012

May 23 - visit to largest Medjool plantation & presentation to BVMDGA

We started the day with Gus who is the region's largest grower with more than 3000 acres of Medjool. The size and scale of this operation is incredible, providing employment for around 150 staff all year round and an additional fleet of seasonal workers. (This photo: Gus, Dave & Anita)

This photo shows Gus's team who manufacture date bags used to cover the bunches.

Gus showed us his irrigation system and provided good advice on irrigation and infrastructure.

We drove around and looked at a number of his date gardens at different stages of maturity. There were date palms growing as far as the eye could see, from horizon to horizon!

We appreciate very much the time we spent with Gus and the invaluable insight he provided into how his family business has grown to such a large scale - and his confidence and vision for the future of the date industry. Gus has helped us to think bigger!

I had been invited by the Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association to provide a presentation to their group and other interested parties, on the Australian date industry. I came prepared with a powerpoint presentation which covered aspects of our own Gurra Downs date business, projects we're involved in, the history of dates in Australia and the current status and future vision for industry growth. I presented at the Arizona University and received favourable comments from attendees over a shared lunch afterwards.

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