“With all of the greenhouse clean-outs happening at this time of the year, we’ve developed a whole hygiene program to facilitate crop rotations,” says Jake Houweling, VP of Sales and Business Development at Houweling-Dutch Plantin (H-DP), an Ontario-based company providing hygiene products, SA-8000-certified coco coir and Signify LED Agri-lighting.
Houweling-Dutch Plantin has recently focused on providing a full range of hygiene products for the North American greenhouse industry, which includes everything from glass cleaners to irrigation water treatment. The current inventory is for sampling/trialing for next year’s crop rotations.
Topcleaner to improve light transmission and limit disease proliferation
Regular cleaning of greenhouse glass allows growers to limit the proliferation of pathogens while also improving light transmission in the greenhouse by removing soot, rust, dust, grime, etc. Topcleaner is a low-cost glass cleaner developed by Houweling Group in the Netherlands. An added benefit of Topcleaner is its chemical formulation, which is based on vapor-free ammonium bifluoride and greatly reduces the risk to greenhouse employees and the environment.
“Many growers use heavy glass cleaners when doing crop rotations putting their employees and the environment at risk - not to mention the etching problems on glass. A benefit of Topcleaner is the lack of vapor effect so you don’t need to wear heavy PPE when applying the solution, as well as worry about etching. It is important that we come in at a low cost and low vapor effect while still cleaning soil, rust, etc.,” says Jake.
Intra Foam Cleaner for the toughest residues
Houweling-Dutch Plantin recommends Intra Foam Cleaner to clean greenhouse floors, tables, gutters, and other hard surfaces. The product was developed by Intracare in the Netherlands and is an alkaline foaming heavy-duty detergent suited to general cleaning in the greenhouse. The product’s deep cleaning action facilitates the removal of resistant dirt, organic material, and plant sap.
Intra Multi Des GA for surface disinfection
Once the greenhouse has been cleaned with Intra Foam cleaner, disinfection of surfaces is the next step. For hard surface disinfection, Houweling-Dutch Plantin recommends Intra Multi Des GA because of its efficacy against bacteria, viruses, and yeasts. The foaming disinfectant contains five active ingredients which make it effective against bacteria and viruses at 0.2% and 0.75%, respectively. Intra Multi Des GA has also proven effective against tomato brown rugose fruit virus.
“Intra Multi Des GA is good for clean-outs, especially when you’ve run into issues with diseases in the previous crop,” says Jake, “It is also effective against the growth of algae on glass, concrete, and mats.”
Intra Hydro Pure for chlorine-free irrigation water treatment
Another piece to the greenhouse hygiene puzzle is the irrigation system, which can be cleaned using Intra Hydro Pure, a silver-stabilized hydrogen peroxide solution that can be used regularly throughout production cycles at low doses and during clean-outs at higher doses to flush the system. Intra Hydro Pure removes organic and microbiological waste throughout the irrigation system to prevent pathogen transmission and ensure proper flow. By using a low and continuous dose of Intra Hydro Pure during production followed by a higher dose to flush the system during clean-out, growers can rest assured that their irrigation is as clean as possible and will not be a vector for plant pathogens.
Balancing efficacy and environmental protection, safety
In selecting the products for its hygiene line, Houweling-Dutch Plantin makes a concerted effort to provide products that are proven effective and minimize negative environmental impacts. All of these products are Dutch, from both Houweling and Intracare, and use alternatives to toxic active ingredients.
“The Netherlands are often one step ahead when it comes to green practices, so we know that their products are well tested and proven. We love teaming up with Intracare because their labs and rigorous testing assure us that we are dealing with products of high quality at good prices,” explains Jake.
For more information:
+1 (905) 598-0146