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Sanitizing the greenhouse: turbo fogging, cold fogging or both?

Turbo fogging, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, cold fogging and peracetic acid. With crop rotation just around the corner, it might be a good idea to reflect on the various ways to disinfect the greenhouse. Paul van Eck and Richard van Lierop of Van Eck Bedrijfshygiëne keep us up to date.

Pictured are Richard van Lierop and Paul van Eck, who recently moved operations to a nearby, state-of-the-art location.

In preparation for the oncoming crop rotation, it’s good to consider disinfecting the greenhouse. To help us gain some insight, Van Eck placed two instructive videos on both turbo and cold fogging. It’s what the company in the south of Holland does best: disinfecting greenhouses by spraying disinfectants. This is primarily done in two ways: turbo fogging using formaldehyde, and cold fogging using disinfectants based on hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid. The advantage of turbo fogging is receiving the strongest possible decontamination. The advantage of cold fogging is that the procedure is done quickly, and that it can be done with the greenhouse foils already in place.

The cold fogging machine has a higher capacity than its predecessors. This will disinfect faster and the agent is even more evenly distributed. "It may not fit in every greenhouse, but for smaller greenhouses we use other machines."

Growers who have had to deal with high disease pressure or who simply want to be sure that the greenhouse is clean, tend to opt for dual disinfection. "It's about the bacterial counts," says Richard van Lierop, responsible for the company’s horticultural division. "Say you manage to clear 99% of bacteria and fungi during the initial run. If you’re able to lose 99% in the second fumigation, then you really have the cleanest possible patch imaginable."

The machines are designed and built on site.

Crop rotation
Van Eck Bedrijfshygiëne, thanks to its homemade machines, is able to work in a variety of greenhouses, no matter what size. Paul van Eck (laughing): "We don’t do them all in one go, mind you! It’s handled in various stages, sometimes weeks apart. With crop exchange just around the corner for many growers, we distinguish between lit and unlit cultivation. The former we expect this month, after that come the tomatoes, cucumbers and other crops such as zucchini and eggplant, all the way up to the end of this year. The schedule is pretty tight. For most growers the disinfection must take place during the rotation.”

The laid-back atmosphere over at Van Eck would nearly make you forget that agents like formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous if used incorrectly. The new building is therefore fully equipped to handle them responsibly. Cars and materials are hosed down before being moved inside, and barrels holding chemicals are immediately stored: either in a secure area nearby, or in a specially equipped storage space with extra protective flooring and doors.

As in previous years, the Turbo fogger was again put on transport to Turkey this year. A Turkish tomato grower has been using the services of Van Eck for some time now. The long journey and the multitude of border controls make it an arduous journey, but abroad there are more opportunities, thinks Van Lierop. Poultry farmers in the UK, for example, already know how to find the Dutch specialist for the disinfection of stables and for pest control, which Van Eck is also active in. “It’d be nice if we could see some international expansion in that regard,” he concludes.

Cold fogging

Turbo fogging


More information:
Van Eck B.V.
Richard van Lierop
[email protected]

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