While being the director from Syngenta France, Jean Knibbe, at a certain point, felt that he missed being personally involved in the production process and therefore decided to go back to his roots: farming, buying a farm.
Part of his farm activities is seed multiplication, the latter in cooperation with Oriental Seeds BV.
After working together on a basis of producer and agent for many years, in 2014 Jean Knibbe and Oriental Seeds decided to create SARL Oriental Seeds France.
Having joined forces, SARL Oriental Seeds France invested in being able to offer an even better product and service.
The new company invested in a new seed processing plant at Briare, a location close to the Escrignelles farm.
The new plant is set up to dry, clean, calibrate and bag large quantities of seed according to customers’ requirements.
Also did we hire new personnel to run the new seed processing plant.
Geography and particulars of the area
The farm is located in Escrignelles, a small town not far away from Briare, Loiret-county, in central France.
The Loiret-county, like the adjacent Nievre and Yionne-county, is characterized by having a lot of agriculture activity.
An average farm is of considerable size for European standard: up to 200 ha.
The major crops are wheat, corn, protein peas, sunflowers (oil) and rapeseed (oil).
All of them are highly mechanised crops. That being the case, all growers have a range of machinery at their disposition, warehouses, drying units, etc.
All farmers have irrigated fields.
Infra structure in terms of roads, communication facilities, hotels, transportation etc is excellent.
Winters are relatively mild. An occasional light night frost occurs but normally temperatures remain above zero degrees Celsius. Humidity can be high.
Summers are warm, 25–35 degrees Celsius, and usually dry.
SARL Oriental Seeds France contracts local growers for hybrid onion production for Oriental Seeds BV.
When the system is bulb to seed, the day-length sensitivity of the onion variety is of no issue.
When however the system is seed to seed it does matter: the onion types that can be done are the long day and the medium-long day types; true medium day types and short day types can’t be produced in the area.
The average field is 3 to 6 hectares big.
The standard season is bulb planting in the autumn (October) and seed harvest August of the consecutive year.
Spring planting is also possible but this not being the optimal season will lead to an average yield loss of 15%.
After harvesting, growers dry the umbels with their own drying units, and then thresh the umbels with their own combines, leaving them with the final product: the seed.
Part of the onion bulbs for our seed production we produce ourselves in France. As such we are equipped to sow (early May), grow, harvest, dry, select and bag, big quantities of onion bulbs for seed production.
Throughout the cropping season, Jean is helping the growers with crop management. SARL Oriental Seeds France will organize all logistic aspects (importing stock seed/bulbs and exporting the hybrid seeds).
During the past years the area has proved to be excellent and reliable for hybrid onion seed production.
Complementary to that, the growers with their years of experience are very capable in using the natural resources the area offers and therefore to be very reliable producers of top quality hybrid onion seeds.
The production of other seed crops, like for example hybrid carrot and hybrid radish, is possible as well in that same area. But because of being able to obtain the required isolation, the minimum order has to be 2 hectares.
Apart from beying a seed producer, Jean also developed machines to make the onion growers life more easy:
1) Alliatec: an onion harvester by the name of "Alliatec" a product that is full commercial and selling; see below product info
2) in test phase: a full automated bulb planting machine
Mechanized, easy, quick and loss-free onion seed harvesting, preserving the QUALITY!
How to harvest without worries?
ALLIATEC allows a quick harvest, which allows a higher flexibility in the working process and organization.
The meteorological hazards are better dealt with. Therefore is the seed quality is preserved.
Should you be interested in our technology, please contact:
SARL Oriental Seeds France
“Pontfoux” – 45250 Escrignelles
Phone: + 220.127.116.11.60.39 – Fax: + 18.104.22.168.60.90
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Minimum losses: lose less than through a manual harvest
The laying stalks, even close to the ground, are gathered and lift with rotary and independent lifting sets.
The screws analyse the stalks, which are then gently picked up by the means of belts.
Thanks to fixed knives, the cutting is clear and smooth. The shelling is reduced to the absolute minimum. The seeds that would nevertheless have fallen are recovered by the plates, then directed by the screws on the elevator belt.
A rotary divider ensures a smooth separation of the rows.
The comparison between ALLIATEC’s losses and those of a manual harvest is to ALLIATEC’s advantage!
That makes you harvest your lot at the optimum ripeness stage, to your liking.
Preserving the quality
ALLIATEC’s smooth treatment of the harvested product, due to its unique elevator belt, saves the seeds and flowers from any mechanical deterioration that could harm their germinative quality.
An important cutting up
ALLIATEC harvest 4 rows at a time, at the average rate of 2 to 4 km/h (1.25 to 2.50 miles/h), depending on the working conditions.
A 6 hectare (15 acres) hybrid lot can be easily harvested in a single day!
The drier is quickly ready, and there is no load recovery.
A high performance elevator
ALLIATEC’s elevator allows an easy loading of the highest tippings!
The unique elevator-belt ensures no losses and no mechanical damage.
Simplicity, sturdiness and maintenance reduced to the minimum
Its clever though simple design and its sturdy manufacturing make ALLIATEC a reliable machine.
The hydraulic drives reduce the maintenance to the minimum.
A good visibility, and an automatic follow-up of the ground of every independent lifting set make driving ALLIATEC quite easy. Should the lifting set be too low, the driver will be warned acoustically by a level probe system.