Strawberry growers across Europe are sharing their practical experience with UVc to protect their plants against powderymildew, Botrytis, Erwinia, etc. In fact, several sessions at FutureLab are dedicated to the variety of systems that are now in use: from handheld units, such as the CleanLight Pro, to autonomous robotic systems, such as the Hortimotion, developed in 2012.
The field experience has been growing since the first strawberry grower worked with UV, back in 2010. Their findings confirm that this technology is safe for IPM, and indeed, leaves no residue. In addition, indoor growers (tunnel & greenhouse) report that the fruit shows better firmness, resembling the form/colour of outdoor production.
While a variety of autonomous robotic systems are under development and/or available commercially, most strawberry growers thus far prefer to first gain experience with a system that is a little less high-tech, and a bit more affordable than an autonmous robot. The boom in this video (available for standing gutter and/or for hanging gutter) has been running succesfully for several years in Holland. It treats 8 rows simultaneously: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL_3D_5XNsE&list=PLxdolXlSXSvUb2t9yVVxv_sMbdQ7iUbXc&index=17
Both Damian VanDijk (mobile: +31640395790) and Arjo VanderSluis (mobile: +31634325124) are available to share their experience with visitors while at the Fruit Logistica. Commercial suppliers present at the Fruit Logistica include Urbinati at Hall 5.1 B-08. Ask for Hendrik Mast (mobile: +31620437342)
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