Tomato grower successfully fights algae, bacteria and biofilm
"The inside of the pipe was so clean, I sent a picture anyway"
Tholen - Last autumn, tomato grower Frank Dekker decided to start the upcoming season a little later. The current crop was extended into December. As a result, January now became the month for crop rotation at Dekker Glascultures.
The modified cultivation strategy allows just a little more time for thorough greenhouse cleaning. A recent mishap, in which a piece of water pipe broke, still put a smile on the grower's face. "The inside of the pipe was so clean, I sent a picture to Robert anyway," he says.
That Robert, that's Robert de Hoo from Ultramins. Since March 2021, Dekker Glascultures has been working with Ultramins's USAF ultrasonic transmitters in the water basin and day stock. In both places, application for ultrasound ensures that the water stays clean. The transmitter is hung in the silo or basin and produces ultrasound that causes cavitation. This creates pressure waves that kill algae and other micro-organisms. In addition, Frank doses hydrogen peroxide. "This prevents dirt from adhering to the PVC walls," he says.
Dekker Glascultures was there early and was the first grower to take delivery of Ultramins's complete system. "Our heater we use to disinfect our drain water broke down. That's when we started looking for something else." That became the Ultramins system, in combination with hydrogen peroxide. "That is also important to me. Because of the combination, I changed my mind."
Photo autumn 2021: Dekker Glascultures also has a USAF transmitter in the drain, but the grower does not yet use drain water, Robert knows. Therefore, the grower uses the transmitter in his (private) pond with koi carp.
The combination of hydrogen peroxide with ultrasonic means the grower no longer suffers from biofilm. "We replace the drip hoses during crop changes, but not other pipes. Now that a piece broke off a pipe that has been there for 20 years, you could nicely see that it works."
Not that the grower does not have tests carried out. At an earlier stage, lab tests of water proved the operation and a special camera was also used to how ultrasound works. After all, humans cannot see with the naked eye the sound waves emitted by the transmitters. However, once Frank's basin remained clean, and visibly cleaner than other basins without Ultramins technology, he was completely convinced.
Crazy roots past tense
In the past, the grower's problems included algae. Almost daily, especially in summer, the fine filters at the pumps had to be cleared. "Now we take them out once every six weeks to see if everything is still clean. This is actually always the case. The parameters we monitor anyway also indicate that, but you still want to take a look yourself once in a while." The same goes for the drip hoses. "Once in a while during the season, we unscrew the drip hose to check for contamination with a finger in the hose and tube."
Abundant algae growth in the water at the tomato grower is a thing of the past. "That could cause blockages and, as a result, agrobacteria can grow significantly." The grower used to suffer from crazy roots at times. "We tried all kinds of things, as did a lot of growers. However, with the combination of ultrasonic and hydrogen peroxide we work with now, everything stays clean."
"Couldn't be cleaner than now"
The crop rotation is the time when growers clean the entire greenhouse. With slightly less pressure on the kettle because of a modified cultivation schedule, Dekker Glascultures is doing it with its own people this year. Even with everything staying so clean, the water system also gets a good shake-up. "The combination we're running with now takes the pressure off. There is significantly less pollution. That's good for our filters and systems. You can't get any cleaner than now."
For more information:
Robert de Hoo
Jelle Zijlstraweg 45
1689 ZX Zwaag
+31 (0) 620 536 536
+31(0) 85 023 10 97