A good crop starts with a very clean greenhouse. That's what they know for sure at the Dutch company Van Eck. The company has been active in the turbo fogging and cold nebulistion for years now. "Most growers chose for turbo fogging. But we notice that cold nebulisation for farmers is a serious supplement or even an alternative. Especially when the time pressure is high, a strategy to speed up progress is cold nebulisation with peracetic acid."

This product, a mixture of acetic and hydrogen peroxide, has a contact time of just some hours, and the treatment can also take place in the presence of AC-film. At Van Eck they recommend combining the treatments. "This is the best guarantee for a clean start. First turbo fogging to defuse all the organic material. Then arrange the greenhouse for the new crop. When you get close to planting, cold nebulisation, close the doors and severe hygiene protocol can start. Then you know for sure you starting material for the new season is protected perfectly.”

Decontamination is not a choice
Van Eck has built a loyal customer base. "Decontamination is no choice. If you're going to save it, you know for sure that some day it will be pay back time. Dutch growers do not make that choice. We do have a Turkish client who considered the costs for decontamination and the higher transport costs to Turkey would justify skipping a year sometimes. But they have changed their minds. Growers are looking at other ways to save, for example scheduling the crop rotation as tight as possible." This means disinfecting on a saturday, so the greenhouse is empty on Sunday. For growers this is ideal, but for Van Eck it means a tough schedule in the coming months. "It does not matter," says Van Lierop. "We stand for flexibility. We're going to work when it suits the grower - not when it suits us."

Busy motnhs
November is the busiest month for Van Eck in terms of horticulture. "But we see that the peak in the Dutch crop rotation slides backward and at the same time crop rotation is getting a wider time-range. Large companies are rotating from June to December to supply all the segments constantly and always meet the demand." Furthermore in cucumber cultivation, growers also regularly chose to disinfect between the first and the second crop. "The burden of diseases in the humid crops is higher and so is the pressure on a clean start."

For more information:

Van Eck B.V.
Richard van Lierop

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