As most of the growers are currently cleaning their greenhouse in preparation for the new season, they might consider some new alternative disinfection methods developed by a company based in British Columbia.
TechMist was founded by Dutch immigrant, Menno Koehoorn in the late 90's. After introducing several disinfection and spray technologies to treat pest and disease breakouts, the company started to focus on disinfection treatment for greenhouse horticulture with in-house developed techniques and machinery.
One of the services the company soon became known for is its STREAM wash carts which clean out greenhouses during crop changes. These high pressure carts for pipe rail systems can clean the greenhouse interior of debris, organic material and biofilm. "A proper cleaning protocol using our STREAM system ensures that as much material as possible is removed. This, combined with a solid disinfection protocol ensures you get a clean, disease free start to your growing cycle", said Koehoorn. The STREAM wash carts can clean up to 3 acres a day, per cart, per person. Eight cart systems are possible in most greenhouses, based on water supply, averaging 24 acres per day.
TechMist also developed several disinfection protocols that make use of their SPARC disinfection system. This patented method injects a specially composed gas into the greenhouse, often via the already present CO2 distribution system. Koehoorn stressed SPARC is a very strong, chemical free process best performed overnight. "Then workers can resume their work in a fresh, clean environment again in the morning. There is no down time."
The gas used in the SPARC method consists of five different gas particles and is chemical free and allowed in Certified organic growing. "It disinfects in the entire volume and is thirty thousand times stronger than commonly used industrial bleach. It kills viruses, pathogens, molds, breaks down spider webs, biofilms, insects and any other organic material that are left in the greenhouse. By nature, it decomposes into H2O, O2 and C02 within 4 hours and leaves no harmful residues or side effects to workers. In fact it even cleans out existing pesticide and chemical residues, allowing biologicals to flourish.”
In order to track the effectiveness of SPARC and ensure maximum reliability for their customers, TechMist has developed a state of the art GPS monitoring system. "By placing our wireless sensors (Canary) at strategic points in the buildings, we can 'live trace' the data back at our HQ and provide a comprehensive report of the treatment. This gives us a complete picture of what happened during the disinfection and ensures our customers receive peace of mind for a job well done."
Many North American greenhouse companies rely on the disinfection services and machinery of TechMist. They offer complete disinfection services, as well as rental of their equipment. "Our machines travel from coast to coast and we recently opened a subsidiary in Leamington, Ontario. We have also been very busy in disinfecting greenhouse operations in Mexico where growers struggle with diseases like Clavibacter. SPARC can also neutralize Pepper Weevil, Salmonella, Fusarium, Pepino Virus and many more. Our equipment ships globally via plane in roughly two days. Interested parties looking for a partnership are welcome to contact us."