Extra vines and kilos with the help of ethylene gas

The use of ethylene gas in tomato cultivation can significantly increase production. The British company Restrain developed the Restrain Generator. The Dutch board for greenhouse crop protection addmitance CTGB has now admitted the invention to the Dutch market.

The Restrain Generator
A small device in the greenhouse and a sensor placed about 20 yards away from it. That’s all the Restrain Generator needs to optimize the final phase of growth in tomato cultivation. The device converts ethanol into ethylene. With the proper concentration of ethylene (hence the sensor) the ripening process is stimulated in a controlled way. The big advantage is that even the last remaining vines in autumn, the ones that refused to ripen and usually end up on the compost heap, will now be red and ripe like the rest of the crop. Also, the ripening of the remaining vines can be accelerated, so that harvest time can be wrapped up earlier. "That saves energy," says Paul O'Connor of Restrain. According to him, the savings can be as much as 5,000 to 10,000 euros per year.

Paul O'Connor holding the Generator's sensor.
The device is now approved by the CTGB for growing tomatoes. "It's a huge gain in both yield and saving energy," explains O'Connor. "The system works without loss of quality and with optimal outgrowth. Recently we met an experienced grower who’s been working with tomatoes all his life. Every year he had the exact same problem: those last remaining vines. But now, for the first time in his life, the nursery is completely cleared."

Restrain has been working with ethylene gas in potato and onion storage for over ten years. This is the first authorized use in cultivation, and O'Connor expects to make some waves in the industry. What makes it stand out, is that the application is 100% natural: "A type of alcohol produced by nature itself. No chemicals, no residue and no side effects." In the development of the Generator, much attention has been paid to simplicity. "It is a plug and play model," concludes O'Connor. "We install it, and the grower is ready to go."

The machine is only used a few weeks per year and is available for rent.

More information:
Dirk Garos
+31 653869221

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