THE first vegetable seedlings from a recently completed state-of-the-art nursery on the Darling Downs have gone out to Lockyer Valley growers.
The hi-tech facility at Southbrook marks an expansion into Queensland for Boomaroo Nurseries and has been hailed by the company as the most advance operation of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Boomaroo Nurseries Queensland business manager David Parker said 50,000 Aurora broccoli plants and 20,000 bok choy plants had been delivered to a farm at Gatton.
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"We deliver to farmers weekly to fit in with their contracts with supermarkets," he said.
"The automation means we're producing more consistently sized plants and we're getting good feedback on their uniformity.
"If you hand sow, you're not getting that uniform sewing depth and germination."
Among the seedlings currently being grown in the facility are cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, broccolini and various herbs, with sowing happening five days a week.
The first stage of development, able to produce up to 100 million plants a year, is made up of 28,000 square metres of growing area including 14,000 square metres controlled covered environment and another 14,000 square metres of outdoor growing area.
Mr Parker said since opening the facility they'd had considerable interest from Queensland growers and they were on track to meet their growth targets.
"We're planting five days a week out there," he said.
- This story first appeared on the Qld Country Life.