Laurits Stokkeland

Interview - Laurits Stokkeland - Norway

Bru Gard is a family owned business located in west Norway - way out on the coast of Rogaland. The company is led by Laurits Stokkeland and his son Asbjorn.

The Stokkeland family has access to a lot of light soil and grow carrots (early - bundle carrot, and late consumption carrots for stock), and some onions and scallions.

Bru Gard has one of the most modern packing facilities, supplying large supermarket chains such as Coop and ICA with fresh produce.

The Stokkeland family have been producing carrots since 1970. Now there are 3 generations working in the company, and now Asbjørn is on his way to take over the family business! They own about 65 hectares and in addition rents about 20 hectares. The total production of carrots are approximately 2500 tons per year.The main production is conventional with some organic production.Most fields are rather small sized and a typical size is 2-4 hectares. Stokkeland is supplying mainly to Coop and ICA systems in Norway! The Farm is the main supplier of carrot to these systems and covers the western part of Norway.
Depending on the season there are 10-45 people working in the company! 10 men are permanently employed in the packing facility, while number of hands increases significantly during the summer when they are producing bundle carrot.

Stokkeland are principle about the tractor fleet: the entire tractor fleet is John Deere only with a total 15 tractors!  At present they have the following Asa Lift machines:
Asa-Lift Mini, 2008 model.
Asa-Lift Combi 1000, 2007 model, with both carrots and onions front section.
Asa-Lift PO 335BU, 2009 model for bundle carrots.
Asa lift SP200, 2012 model
Asa Lift WR 135, 2011 model, Onions windrower.
Asa-Lift OT 1500, 2011 model , Onion Topper.

All contact through all the years to Asa-Lift has been through Bjerke as a dealer.  The first machine was an Asa Lift Mini bought in 1983. This machine was in use until 2007! Some of the conciderations we had when thinking about acquiring more harvesters, was that there was a general need for more capacity, as the last couple of years has been very difficult. As the harvest was earlier done continuously with 2 Combi 1000 machines just to be able to hang in there! The new machine has the same capacity as 2.5 Combi 1000 and thereby ensures the harvest! Overall, the SP200 harvest approx. 50-60 hectares of the land.

The considerations about a self-propelled machine has been going on for about 2 years. the crucial point has been the handling of the boxes. Therefore, the new SP200 is made with a very special box magazine with a platform for 4 people who can work with the boxes. The first 2 people operate a specially designed crane that lift the containers off. Boxes come in 3 and 3 in height,which are then made ready on the magazine. Then the boxes move on to two more people who put in plastic in the boxes and make them ready for filling! There have been many long discussions regarding this box magazine solution, but it has proved to work "Grabla gott" as Laurits says it!