For Rosnes, organic farming is a natural choice so that he can deliver Norwegian produced organic products. That requires efficient operations so he can be competitive and he therefore swears by Valtra tractors.
“My wife Toril and I lived in Denmark for a period of time. They have for a long time been far ahead with organic farming. You can not win based on area and size of operation when you compare ourselves with countries like Sweden and Denmark. We started on a small scale with organic production of vegetables in 1987 and since then we have grown slowly but surely until we now have about 100 hectares”, says Erik Rosnes at Rosnes gårdsdrift AS:
The farm comes from his wife's family and is located in Sande in the county of Vestfold, the largest vegetable county in Norway, and run by three generations. With an agreement with the company Coop, they grow potatoes and 16 different vegetables. The season is from April to November,
“Growth is the result of Coop’s focus on organic vegetables. We have carrots, rutabaga, parsnips, celery root, celery, red beets, yellow beets, leeks, scallions, radishes, broccoli, squash, gourds, parsley root, red cabbage and green cabbage. In addition we grow herbs in the greenhouse for the company Plantasjen”.
Satisfied Valtra customer
Approximately 15 people work on the Rosnes farm during the season. The same people come back year after year, and the operators are satisfied with the choice of Valtra tractors that are used in the farm production and transport.
– About ten years ago I had problems with the tractors I had at the time and one Saturday evening they stopped and I couldn't get any help. Someone suggested that I call a man who sold Valtra. That man was Roar Enerhaugen. He was on holiday, but he asked me to give him five minutes. That same evening I had a tractor on loan, and since that time I drive nothing but Valtra, says Rosnes.
Today they have one A93 HiTech, two N103 HiTech5, two N123 HiTech5 and one T214 Direct in addition to one old Valmet.
“My operators know a lot about the machines and the equipment and want nothing but a Valtra.”
Exchange land with the neighbour
Land is at a premium in the Sande area, and many are operating organic farms.
“It's an advantage that there are several of us who are thinking about crop rotation. We have an agreement with Hans Kristian Teien who has organic milk production. We exchange land so there is vegetable production some years and then grass production before we go back to vegetables.”
The two neighbours are also cooperating on several levels.
“We have packing facilities on the farm and pack our own vegetables.” Teien feeds his milking cows with the cuttings. Rosnes underlines that Teien then has organic feed and that they use all the resources.
Service and follow-up are very important to Rosnes. That means that they don't need an extra tractor.
“Roar Enerhaugen at Akershus Traktor and mechanic Halvor Fon at Fon Mekaniske do a fantastic job for us.” Rosnes says that without them they probably would not be operating Valtras.
The operators at the Rosnes farm are truly engaged in engines and machines, and are always providing their input and suggestions.
“Roar uses the suggestions in the Valtra system. We experience that there is a short distance between us and the decision-makers.” The five year warranty is very favourable. It gives us predictable finances, especially since we drive a great deal with many tractors. The Valtra tractors are ordered custom made, so we get exactly the equipment we need, in addition the tractors and the equipment have high second-hand value.
The Rosnes farm is continually working for further development, and they believe in greater potential for organic production in Norway.
“It's important that we find niche markets where we can compete. For me that is the production of organic and local grown vegetables. We, for example, see that many young mothers buy organic food for their children. They are making a choice that I believe more people will be making in the future.” Erik Rosnes underlines and says they need to be ready to deliver what the market asks for.