Within strawberry cultivation, growers are looking for ways to save on labor, and automating crop treatment is one of them. For this purpose, two strawberry growers have chosen an automatic spraying robot that is able to spray several paths at the same time. The robots can be found at WestBerry De Lier and T' Aardbeihofke in Ravels.
Meto spraying robot and transport truck at T' Aardbeihofke ready for spraying.
WestBerry De Lier and T' Aardbeihofke have recently bought a custom Meto spraying robot from Berg Hortimotive from Steenks Service. Sander Zuidgeest, Steenks Service: "With a Meto spraying robot, you increase the quality of spraying, you save time and resources, and you do not come into contact with the sprayed crop. We can also make a spraying boom to measure so that several paths can be sprayed at the same time. In addition, nozzles on the spray boom can be directed forwards and sideways to spray the façade as well."
The Meto spraying robot in action at WestBerry
The Meto spraying robot and transport trolley at T' Aardbeihofke with a collapsed spray boom
Combination with transport trolley
In Belgium, there is a Meto spraying robot in combination with a Meto transport trolley. With this transport trolley, the robot can be moved fully automatically to the next path. This, in combination with the spraying robot, ensures a fully automatic process of crop treatment. Jos Rens of T' Aardbeihofke is enthusiastic about the machine: "I only have to turn on the machine, and it sprays the entire greenhouse automatically. During spraying, I can focus on other activities, and that saves me a lot of time."
For example, at T' Aardbeihofke, the spray truck can spray seven paths at once. This is equivalent to a width of 8 meters and is achieved by using a spraying arm of galvanized steel with seven spraying masts. The spraying arm is easy to fold so that the machine can be stored compactly.
At WestBerry De Lier, a Meto spraying robot is used that can spray three paths at the same time. WestBerry De Lier is part of the Zwinkels brothers. Tomatoes have always been grown here, but this year strawberries are being grown at the location in De Lier for the first time. Ed Zwinkels of WestBerry: "The possibility to spray several paths at the same time is ideal and saves a lot of extra labor. This was the deciding factor for me to choose this machine."