South Africa: Nelspruit grower leading the way for protected cropping

LA Visagie & Seun was one of the first farms to start with protected cropping in South Africa. Located in Nelspruit in the fertile Lowveld region of the northeastern Mpumalamnga province, the greenhouse grower cultivates English, Mediterranean and Gherkin cucumber varieties and recently opened a new advanced greenhouse project.

The new greenhouse of LA Visagie and Seun, located 36 kilometers from the renowned Kruger National Park, was recently commissioned by Vegtech, a South African supplier and installer of greenhouse systems. Vegtech is also a business partner of screen system provider Alweco. The two companies worked closely together for the development of two state of the art Vegtech polyethylene closed roof greenhouse structures.

One of the greenhouses is 11.060 square meters and has a bay size of 9.60 meter. This Classic Forced Cooled Greenhouse Structure from Vegtech has automated gable-end windows with insect netting for maximum cooling and ventilation.

Vegtech and Alweco installed pull wire shade screen systems in a total of 4 areas.

"The installation includes the latest new screen technologies like our Ultra Lock leading edge profiles, Ultra Power Clips, Ultra Delay Slip Blocks, Cross Blockers and Patented Ultra Groove Wire drums", said Nico Niepce of Alweco. "These technologies have a long track record in Southern Africa and have proven to be a very reliable over the past years under these Southern Hemisphere conditions."

The shade screen systems are driven with De Gier motors and are automatically controlled and operated by a Netafim climate computer. The computer operates the system based on radiation, temperature, humidity levels and outside conditions.

For this greenhouse, the grower opted for a white diffuse screen cloth from Svensson, Harmony 5045 and Harmony 3045. These screens meet the requirements from the grower and can handle the various climatic conditions present in the area.

The other structure is a polyethylene Double Sided Butterfly Natural Ventilated Greenhouse Structure with an acreage of 2.460 m2. This greenhouse is 5,25m high under the gutter. The gable-ends have automated windows that can open to allow further ventilation through the structure in combination with anti-insect netting behind them to allow for protection from insects The double sided continues vents are all individually driven by De Gier GW Motors and Rack & Pinions which, in combination with the gable ends, create an optimal ventilation and airflow in the greenhouse structure.

In this greenhouse, natural ventilated greenhouse structure, Alweco and Vegtech installed a Pull wire shade cooling screen system with identical materials like in the other Classic Forced Ventilated structure. This installation uses a white diffuse screen cloth type Harmony 3015 OPEN.

Over the past few months LA Visagie & Seun has already produced several crops inside the new greenhouse structures. The grower is currently working on a next phase of 7.000m2. They have just broken ground. For this phase, the grower will again install Alweco screen systems.

For more information:
Nico Niepce

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