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Floating double tray system for hydroponic application
After having their double tray system proven its benefits in on rail propagation, the team of Ina Plastics has developed a floating tray for hydroponic applications. Tobacco grower Mile Tanasic from Usvice has been using the trays over the last three years. "I have 96% healthy developed plants every year, I use significantly less seeds and about 20% less substrate."
In 2012, INA introduced their 100% recyclable ‘Double Tray System’ (DTS), consisting of a top layer for sowing and transplanting plugs and root cuttings, and a rigid bottom layer that provides support when suspended on propagation rails. After having proven its benefits (stronger plants, higher yields etc) in on rail propagation (vegetables), Ina Plastics, developed the product’s floating characteristics for hydroponic applications.
One of the first growers to adapt the Double Tray System was Mr. Mile Tanasic from Uzvece, a small village in north west Serbia. He is a contracted grower of one of the big tobacco leaf producers and started with his trials back in 2016. After the first successful trial, seeing the results, he was convinced this is the right tray for his tobacco seedlings. He immediately purchased the trays needed to fill his 7 hectare field with perfectly developed young plants.
"This is the third year I am using the trays and I think I am going to be using them for at least another three", Mr Tanasic tells. "I do not need to see something more to be convinced."
The tray he is using is the 210 cells floating Double Tray system. He uses it to grow Virginia tobacco. "Handling the DTS it just as easy as I used to handle the EPS trays. "I have 96% healthy developed plants every year, I use significantly less seeds about 20% less substrate. Regarding the yield: when using the Styrofoam trays I was calculating about 1.8 tons per hectare, now I calculate at least 2.2 tons which is more than 20% increase in production."
The plants are transplanted easily to the field with remarkable ease of extraction. "No remaining plants are left on the trays from the material of the tray and after use I simply wash them and keep them in my warehouse ready to be used again.’’
Stories like these led through trials to the adaptation of the DTS by the big tobacco leaf producers of the world like Universal Leaf Europe, which is implementing the tray to their farmers more and more every year. "Developing the floatation of the system with the tobacco experts was key to the product’s success", Kostas Tsonakis of Ina Plastics tells. "The superiority of the tray and all its benefits started to show even in the very first trials with germination rate of over 95%, strong and healthy root system and thus higher yields. And growers like Mr Tanasic are the reason we keep on developing solutions taking into account the growers needs and the environment."
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