Vilmorin-Mikado Kyowa Seed (MKS) is a Business Unit of Limagrain. As a global seed supplier, specialized in the creation, production and marketing of vegetable and tree seeds. Already a world leader in carrot and chicory, Vilmorin-MKS is a major stakeholder in lettuce, tomato, pepper, kabocha squash, daikon radish and bunching onion seeds.
They have been expanding the scope of their operations in the US over the past few years. With an increasing number of seeds lots needing to be processed, they have been struggling with labour and cost issues to process their seed samples. The investment into modern seed cleaning technology was needed for them to increase their capacity of research. The primary need of the seed machines was to reduce time of processing for each individual seed lot.
The first meeting with Jeffrey Verpaalen, US Sales Area Manager at Seed Processing Holland was at the Vilmorin site in Hollister, California. They had a detailed discussion in regards to the species of plants Vilmorin is handling, and their seed processing requirements. Jeffrey showed the variety of SPH’s equipment, and the most suited machine for the needs of Vilmorin was SPH’s laboratory seed thresher.
Laboratory seed thresher
They purchased the seed thresher type 3032.50.00 to process dried plants (umbels, umbellifers or pods) of carrot, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, and other various salad green species. Darren Ma, Research Project Manager at Vilmorin, says about the laboratory seed thresher “the machine functions very well in performing the initial threshing of the plants and separation of seeds from debris. It is very easy to operate and clean between seed lots. The operating compartments of the machine are simple to open and clean out quickly with the built in air compressor.”
The results reached by using the new machine were very satisfying according to Mr. Ma: “With the use of the machine for our summer and fall 2016 season, we were able to process approximately ~900 individual cauliflower seed lots, over 6,000 lettuce seed lots, and another ~2,000 various brassica seed lots. The thresher only requires one employee to operate, and enables us to process seed lots at more than double the previous rate of cleaning.”
Due to the requirement of an importation permit into the US, there were some hoops to jump through for Vilmorin to acquire the machine from Europe. The interaction between Vilmorin and Seed Processing Holland in regards to the customization and willingness to cater to their unique set of circumstances was truly appreciated. Having the Seed Processing Holland US office close to Vilmorin headquarter enabled quick communication and personal contact which led to excellent service during the whole project.
With Vilmorin continuing to invest into the US in efforts to build a master station in California, they will be looking to modernize their facilities with new seed processing machines in order to maximize the potential of their operations.