“It can be difficult to persuade people to try these new technologies,” admits Germán Cuitiño Christin. “But once they see the benefits, they wonder why they didn’t start sooner.”
Demonstrating the advantages for greenhouse horticulture
Germán is an agricultural researcher at Tecnoflor, a growers’ cooperative and Jiffy distributor in Argentina. He sets ongoing tests using growblocks and growbags for various crops. He’s found that these trials are the best way to demonstrate the advantages of Jiffy products for greenhouse horticulture to new growers.
Tecnoflor began working with Jiffy in 2018. Today, it is one of the main suppliers of agricultural solutions in the country. Here, Germán talks to us about the latest results of his Jiffy Growblock trials in Latin America.
Growblock tomatoes had 18% more weight, 25% more value
One of the biggest tomato growers in the region has three hectares of cherry tomatoes. Germán ran trials of 200 plants of each of the grower’s varieties. He grew all the seedlings in Jiffy Growblocks and transplanted them. The rest of the crop was grown in the usual way.
The grower ended up harvesting 18% more in terms of weight from the Growblock plants. The results were even better in terms of value. His earnings were up 25% because he could harvest earlier in the season, when prices are higher.
Crops are market-ready 15 days sooner
“Trials in our own nursery and with other growers confirm that tomatoes are ready 15 days earlier with Jiffy Growblocks,” says Germán. “When the customer saw the results, he asked if we were still in time to change the next crop to growblocks.”
Growblock plant (left) compared to regular plant (right)
“We had to work very fast, but we did it,” laughs Germán. “He’s now growing 33,000 cherry tomato plants in Jiffy Growblocks in his greenhouses, plus 10,000 beef tomatoes.”
Support from Jiffy experts
Germán built up his expertise and learned how to transfer knowledge during the trials. He was supported throughout by Jiffy’s experts, especially Guillermo Gonzalez Rivera, Jiffy Sales Manager for Latin America.
“Thanks to Guillermo’s insights, we got faster results. I sent him many, many emails, including photos of the plants. I also met with him and Jiffy’s technical consultants in Chile. I was the project lead here at Tecnoflor, so I really wanted to understand the data.”
Sharing knowledge with the local hydroponics industry
Germán’s Jiffy Growblock and Growbag trials continue on different crops and under different conditions. He is now working with a hydroponics supply business on a series of trials with hydroponic growers, a relatively new technology in Argentina.
“The main thing is reassuring the growers that they are not alone. It helps that we’ve gained a reputation as early adopters. We research the products’ value and then sell them to other nurseries. As growers ourselves, we understand the needs of other growers.”