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19 June 2024

"Labour and growth aren’t easy to combine right now, so automation is required"


Visser Agro in Wieringenwerf is a nature-inclusive, energy-neutral arable farm. Its main activities are seed potato and onion cultivation, storage, and processing. The company is committed to the future, with arable crops, a focus on nature, and expansion in the form of green manure. To make the company future-proof, Visser Convenience has had its own onion peeling company for three years now. The growth of this company is not restricted by available territory.

The ambition

Sierd Visser: "On approximately 135 hectares of arable land, we grow seed potatoes (85 ha), seed onions (30 ha) and onion sets (20 ha). In addition, we work with several contract growers (approx. 25 ha) for onion sets. We also grow wheat and sow bird food fields in collaboration with an agricultural nature association. We supply our onions to the processing industry, who use our produce in the vegetable mixes you find in the supermarket. Our onion peeling company is focused on the processing of undersized onions. We position ourselves as a chain partner for all parties that want to purchase peeled onions. Together, we coordinate the cultivation in order to be able to offer the product that the customer needs during the processing season."

The challenge

“Labour and growth are not easy to combine right now - labour is expensive and hard to find. Fortunately, we have been able to bind a permanent team of people to us in recent years. What’s more, we’re investing in labour saving in arable farming and in the peeling plant. We’re using fully automatic and semi-automatic VHM box fillers, Optica Q sorting machines from Schout and an automatic positioning machine in the peeling plant, for example. In addition, we will be peeling and packaging shallots as of this winter. We want to further optimise in this market segment as this work is now carried out by hand in Poland."

About Visser Agro

Visser Agro was founded in 1941 and was a mixed agricultural firm until 1980. In that year, Visser switched completely to arable farming. Currently, the company operates as a chain partner in onions capable of offering ‘Planet Proof’ products to consumers. Visser Agro is owned by Sierd Visser and his wife Anne Veldboer. They are the fourth generation to run the day-to-day business. There are two permanent employees, a seasonal help, and the three children and Sierd's father also chip in. During peak times, Sierd can call on several retired farmers.


The solution

"In 2022, I became ill and could no longer set the pace of harvesting myself.  With the current acreage, we were also reaching the limits of our two-row truck’s capacity and investing in a new two-row truck didn’t seem to be a wise move. All this got me thinking and prompted me to outsource harvesting. We now have a short harvest period with ample barn capacity, partly thanks to the fully automatic VHM box filler and a four-row potato harvester. We use this to fill the crates with potatoes and onions. Due to the substantial supply during the harvest, this machine is the solution to keeping the process going in a pleasant way. With three tippers, we can keep up with a four-rower. And in the winter, we use this to fill crates and big bags, but it also works fine with a Twinfilr.

  • Farm-Visser-Agro.
  • Farm-Visser-Agro-potato-harvest.
  • Grimme-Varitron-potato-harvest.
  • Unloading-potatoes-harvest.
  • VHM-Twinfiller.
  • Farmer-transport.
  • Box-filling-installation-Visser.
  • bunkervuller-aardappelen.
  • Visser-farmer.

Automation is important to us in order to save labour and ensure work is enjoyable. When I got to know VHM about three years ago, Nico Knibbe convinced me of the quality of the machines, and I became seriously interested. VHM is really good in the areas of quality and support and that’s valuable. At the moment, it is a total concept that fits in with today's agricultural enterprise very well. VHM still has the ambition to digitise box registration. Linked to the VHM box fillers, storage locations can be displayed digitally.


“VHM is really good in the areas of quality and support. That’s valuable.”

Sierd Visser, owner Visser Agro and Visser Convenience



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