We are excited at Forest Lodge, because we believe we will be the recipients of the first electric MK-V Monarch Tractor exported outside the US. Our values around the complete elimination of fossil fuels from farming are shared with Monarch's founders. This was recently cemented with a trip by our Orchard Manager Euan White to Livermore, California for Monarch's official launch event.
US media outlets attended the event, and around 200 people were introduced to what the Monarch Tractor is capable of.
This e-tractor will blow you away. A fully electric high powered tractor with a massive battery, which is driver optional - meaning it can be operated autonomously - a suite of crop-scanning cameras, and a traditional PTO setup, means this can be a real asset for decarbonising farming in New Zealand.
Euan is the 2nd person on the planet, outside of Monarch Staff who have driven the Monarch MK-V
The New Zealand government has helped make the import of this tractor possible. We have received a demonstration grant from EECA so that we can demonstrate and share this technology with other growers. The other significant factor was the recent Memorandum of Co-operation between the Californian and New Zealand governments relating to climate change and the recent historic agri-tech agreement between the two states.
The Forest Lodge team will return to the US in March next year to oversee the assembly of our tractor, and receive training in maintenance and servicing. Exciting times ahead for us, and for Monarch!
We believe this tractor will be the most efficient fruit growing operation in the world in terms of operational costs, sustainability, quality of our fruit and yield. Bring on 2023.