Currently the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) is in the spotlight. The number of countries where the virus is appearing is growing. The question is how growers, together with other parties such as suppliers, can prevent the virus from spreading. According to Cor Pellikaan from PellikaanQ, reducing plant contact helps to reduce the risk of contamination.
75 percent less risk of infection
"Every grower works with their own system," says Cor. "With many systems there is a lot of plant contact. The more plant contact, the higher the chance of spreading of a virus.
It is therefore better to limited the plant contact. With the Qlipr system you perform four operations at once: the lowering by means of a reel, screwing in, pruning the bunch and clipping with metal rings. These four actions normally mean that you have to work along the row of plants four times. Turn that into only one time and you limit the risk of infection by 75 percent."
The virus can be anywhere
Many growers that Cor Pellikaan meets with, are cautious about a clip system in general. Cor: “There is a fear that the virus will get into it and that this could be the cause of the spreading of the virus. But then you forget that if the virus is already in the greenhouse, it can be anywhere. In the cultivation gutters, the irrigation system, the heating pipes, the weighing unit, the crop threads and so on."
If a grower has the misfortune to have the virus in the greenhouse, it must be disinfected thoroughly. How do you remove a virus from the clip? Cor: “The Qlipr system consists of four parts. The clip, the plant hook, the foam in the clip and the pasteurization method. The foam is an insert that is easy to replace.
This could be replaced by the grower after the detection of a virus. They can be ordered separately. The other products such as the hook and the clip can easily be reused after steaming. Just like all other production means, these can be disinfected. All Pellikaan Gewasklemsystemen products have been tested for current viruses.”
Cor continues: "And regarding steaming that was mentioned earlier, the grower can easily do that with the Slow Qooking system. This pasteurization method is for a lower temperature over a longer period of time and can simply be applied to the existing heating system."
ShaQer mechanical pollination system
Bumblebees are used in many greenhouses and they can also cause viruses to spread. Pelikaan Gewasklemsystemen supplies a product called ShaQer. Cor: ”ShaQer is a mechanical pollination system that controls the spread of viruses by Bumblebees. Another advantage of this pollination system is that the effectiveness of the sticky traps for catching the white flies is increased by 50% through the mechanical moving of the plants."