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June 2016 in retrospect

Jet pilot crashes into Dutch greenhouse

June 2016 was a month with some pretty big news, both good and not so good.

First up in our retrospect is the 'greenhouse in a bag' concept of ViVi, a new company that developed a complete product line and growing system to grow leafy greens and culinary herbs in the end user's packaging.

Pegasus Agriculture announced that their investors have now ensured that all of their contracts, literature and associated processes have been reviewed by the Shariah Supervisory Board. "We are proud to be able to say that we adhere to these important Islamic principles, especially now in this time for the Holy month of Ramadan", said Mr. Mahmood Almas, Chairman of Pegasus Agriculture.

After months of construction, the first tomato crops were planted in the solar saltwater greenhouse project of Sundrop Farms in Port Augusta. The 20 hectare project with four 5 hectare greenhouse sections uses a desalination plant and a solar field with more than 23,000 tracking mirrors to purify saltwater into irrigation water. In the time-lapse you will see that the team even worked after sunset to complete the first plantings.

The second edition of the GreenTech attracted a total of 9,721 visitors from a total of 113 countries. Compared to its first edition in 2014, the show has grown into a more complete event, supported by the additional activities, education platforms, inspiring sessions and the Association of Vertical Farming's summit the day prior to the trade show. See our photo report of the event here.

On June 14, on the first day of the GreenTech 2016, the Priva Deleafing Robot was introduced to the market. This robot is the first product, worldwide, that provides growers with an economically viable alternative to the manual deleafing of tomato crops. Three major growers from the consortium involved in the development, Lans, Prominent and Vereijken Kwekerijen expressed their commitment, and will start working with the robot. The Priva Deleafing Robot is the first in a series of solutions for automated crop labour in horticulture.

This might be the most remarkable story in the greenhouse industry this year; a jet pilot of a Swiss aerobatic demonstration team crashed into the greenhouse of a Dutch grower in Friesland. The jet crashed into a pond next to the greenhouse. Fortunately the pilot survived the crash, suffering only some cuts and a broken ankle.

A supercell thunderstorm destroyed at least 100 hectares of greenhouses in the province of North Brabant in the South of Holland. The total damage was estimated to be millions of euros. "Most of the companies are forced to stop their crop", said bell pepper grower Wim van den Boomen.
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