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Soilless technology takes root in blueberry cultivationBlueberry production and consumption has been increasing rapidly in recent years. Greenhouses and mainly tunnels are being used to extend the growing season and harvesting period. Blueberries are traditionally grown in the ground. The soil should be well-drained, yet with sufficient moisture holding capacity. Optimizing blueberry production requires a high level of control, a balanced air-to-water ratio in the ground of growing media, proper micro-irrigation and fertilization. All these can be achieved when using soilless technology in general and coco-coir in particular.
To meet increasing demand in blueberry growth and production, Pelemix developed the 3B: BlueBerryBlend.
Eli Shalmon – Pelemix International marketing manager explains: “We are active daily in more than 30 territories, over the past 5-6 years we are tracing closely the increase in Blueberries and Raspberries crop development in most of them. Most of the planting were still made in soil but more and more growers were facing problems with their crops, thus looking for soilless solutions.
“Part of our main sales strategy is working close with the growers. Our local presence in most of the key countries which leads the BB crop actually requested to develop a ready-to-use solution that will have professional and economical advantage, compared to the traditional concept of growing in soil, or "local" alternatives for soilless solutions.
“Our 3B – BlueBerryBlend coir based solution was developed by our R&D team, in close collaboration with crop specialists and key Blueberry growers.”
Pelemix developed two of its coir production facilities in Sri Lanka and one in India, using special equipment to produce the 3B series in large scale, in order to meet the increasing demand and keep the quality requested.
The 3B Multi-Drain OT [open top] System for blueberries has been created by combining an ideal volume with special coco-coir blend, an innovated form of Pelemix OT products category.
With 3B growers can achieve higher field density, improved drainage in the OT resulting in better root development and health, higher yield per plant, earlier harvest, premium quality fruits and faster return on investment, while also saving on labor.
Pelemix also offers different alternatives for blueberries and other soft fruit growers that can match specific container dimensions and shapes.
The "DuoSlab" - compressed coir based on naked slab that matches different pots and containers with different container dimensions & shapes for the Blueberry and Raspberry production as well.
Coir & Peat based substrate in 5m3 ‘big bales’ [BB5 Blueberry mix] - produced and shipped from Pelemix SL, the company's substrate factory in Spain. There are several formulas available for different climates and growing conditions.
Pelemix is planning 5 years ahead with all the soft fruit sectors. This planning includes new investments in production facilities to meet the increasing demand and in order to improve the “just in time & local stock in hand" concept for growers’ convenience.
Pelemix's new production site in Thailand is the first stage of the above strategy. They are also developing their agronomy support team worldwide and strengthening the abilities to give this support in all places in real time.
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Publication date: 4/19/2017
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