"We introduced the Chrisje and Chris for the non-selective harvesting of white asparagus. Now, ten years later, Christiaens has another addition to the family - Christian. Christian is a patented machine that harvests green asparagus. It's hitched to the tractor," says a Christiaens Agro Systems spokesperson.
Chrisje and Chris have been assisting farmers with their white asparagus harvests for several years. These farmers increasingly asked Christiaens, a Dutch company, if they could use these machines for harvesting green asparagus. They couldn't because harvesting green and white asparagus aren't comparable.
Christiaens has been researching and testing a new harvester for some time. This machine will help growers harvest green asparagus too. They tested the first prototype in 2019. Christian was born out of this. It was further tested and optimized in the 2020 season. In 2020, research was also done into the non-selective harvesting of green asparagus.
The machine's speed depends on its capacity. Between one and three people can ride the harvester. This machine sorts asparagus using a conveyor belt. It has a maximum speed of 6km/h and has variable, adjustable harvesting heights. Its automatic cutting height ensures the correct cutting results. An up-and-down knife cuts the green asparagus just above ground level.
The cutting system knife cuts the asparagus nice and straight. That means less cutting loss during subsequent processing. It's simple to replace the blade. A conveyor belt elevates the asparagus to the correct working height. This makes for a pleasant working environment. The asparagus is deposited onto two reading belts.
Here, laborers pick up and pre-sort the asparagus. They then place them in crates. Crates can be placed under the belts. The product, or some of it, falls into these. Racks placed above and below the machine create enough space for full and empty crates. The entire machine is hydraulically driven. Just like its cousins, Christian is maneuverable and needs little space to turn.
"Growers should use a track system if they're going to use the machine in tougher conditions. Then Chris can now also be used for green asparagus too. Christian's harvesting head is such that it fits on its larger cousin, Chris. Both Christian and Chris ensure labor savings and improved harvesting conditions. They also make it possible to plan better."
"We considered reliability, ease of maintenance, and longevity. Just like with all Christiaens' machines," concludes the company representative.