IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
July 23, 2018
PO Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0330
P: (609) 633-2954
C: (609) 433-1785
(WOOLWICH) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today highlighted Jersey Fresh tomatoes and the use of drone technology in agriculture with a visit to Growtopia/Sorbello Farms. Secretary Fisher and county and local officials viewed the packing of Jersey Fresh tomatoes to emphasize that locally grown produce and farm products are readily available now at farmers markets and stores around the state.
They also viewed a drone demonstration which displayed how new technology is benefitting the Growtopia/Sorbello Farm operation.
“The delicious Jersey Fresh tomato is widely known and we want to highlight Sorbello Farms and others who produce outstanding tomatoes year after year,” Secretary Fisher said. “The Sorbellos also are at the forefront of technology with the use of drones. It allows for a more efficient growing process and is a prime example of how farmers in the 21st century are always discovering better ways to deliver high quality products to the market place.”
Tomatoes were the No. 3 crop in New Jersey for 2017 with a production value of more than $39 million on 4,000 acres totaling 112 million pounds. New Jersey annually ranks in the top 10 in the U.S. in the production of tomatoes.
“The tomatoes in the field are ripe for picking,” said Kris Wilson, the farm manager at Growtopia/Sorbello Farms. “We had the early rain to get us started and now the warm weather has made for great growing conditions.”
Wilson said the use of drones with Growtopia’s Aviation Division has helped in several ways.
“The drones are a tremendous asset and help us see the development of the plants,” Wilson said. “It saves us time in surveying the plants ourselves and can pinpoint exactly what areas may need extra attention.”
Growtopia/Sorbello Farms is a third-generation family owned farm that has 900 acres, with nearly 200 acres of Jersey Fresh vegetables and features its own packing facility. Growtopia/Sorbello Farms also grows asparagus, zucchini squash, cucumbers and bell peppers throughout the year and has Community Supported Agriculture during the harvest season.
The tomato season for New Jersey lasts through October with peak harvest during the first two weeks of August. There are many different types of tomatoes grown in New Jersey, including Ramapo, Quick Pick, Jet Star, Pik-Red, Floramerica, Celebrity, Supersteak, Supersonic, Mountain Pride, Heirloom, Ramapo as well as cherry shaped, pear shaped and novelty varieties.
Go to www.FindJerseyFresh.com to see where Jersey Fresh tomatoes are available locally and to find recipes that include great tasting Jersey Fresh blueberries.
To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA and @JerseyFreshNJDA.