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Hygiene protocol for cucumber crops

Hygiëneprotocol komkommer
Author Jasper Verhoeven | Latest update: 30-10-2019

Hygiene is a most important factor in horticulture: with the help of various hygiene measures, we need to prevent bacteria, fungi and viruses from entering the farm or from being left behind during crop changes. This hygiene protocol for cucumber crops will help with this process! The protocol provides you with the steps that need to be taken for optimal cleaning and disinfection during cultivation, and other measures that should be used during cultivation.

Activity Explanatory notes

At the end of harvest time Implement broad acting methods to end the old crop period insect-free.

Greenhouse clearing
Mechanical removal of crop residue, dirt, substrate mats, foil etc. The drier the crop is, less plant juices can be spread. Use your own or disinfected crop clearing fabrics. Be careful with plant juices (leakage from containers or spread across the property etc.)! Thorough mechanical removal of all dirt is essential to perform proper cleaning and effective disinfection.

Glass cleaning (inside)
Cleaning of greenhouse deck and façades inside:  
• Solution based on biological acids and natural plant extracts (ecological): Greenhouse Glassclean (practical dose for normal pollution: 5%) suited for cleaning of AR-coated glass (no action). Contact us for suitability per types of glass. 
• Solution based on fluorine hydrogen: Flusol Forte (practical dose: 3%)
• Solution based on ammonium hydrogen difluoride: Topcleaner (practical dose for low level of pollution: 5 - 10%) (see overview of glass cleaning )
Greenhouse cleaning
After 5 - 10 minutes, spray-rinse the glass and greenhouse area with plenty of water. 
Aim: to remove all of the glass cleaner and organic material. Please note: allow the ecological cleaner to soak in for 20 minutes before it is hosed down. Heat treat the chains and crop wires.
creen cloth cleaning
For green deposits: close the cloth and spray it with Menno ter Forte (after one day, rinse thoroughly with water and allow to dry properly). The alternative is to use a stabilized hydrogen peroxide.
Cultivation gutter cleaning
Depending on the level of contamination: use alkaline cleaner Hortisept Clean 1 – 3%. Use about 1500 liters/hectare and preferably apply as a foam (the foaming version is Hortisept Clean Plus ). Within 5 minutes, rinse off with high pressure (hot) water (prevent drying of the product before it is rinsed off). Choose Menno ter Forte if many algae are present. Consult the gutter supplier about warranty provisions related to the use of Hortisept Clean. A biodegradable alternative to cleaning the gutters is
Ask the gutter supplier about the warranty conditions when using Hortisept Clean. A biodegradable alternative for cleaning the gutters is Floorclean 5 - 10%.
Dripper system cleaning (inside)
Assess the degree of pollution of the dripper hoses towards the end of the cultivation period. 
• Depending on the level of organic pollution, use a solution of 0.2, 0.5 of 0.7%  Huwa-San. Fill the complete watering system with this for at least 12 hours. Then rinse the system thoroughly. Use hydrogen peroxide strips  to check that the solution reaches the end of the system, and after rinsing, that the peroxide has been washed completely out of the system or is at the correct concentration. • Use 3%  nitric acid mineral contamination (product: nitric acid 38%). Protect your own safety!
Read the detailed instructions: cleaning the dripper system '.
Dripper system cleaning (outside)
For green deposits on the outside of hoses, spray them with Menno terforte (do not rinse).
acid (pH <1; loosens dirt).
• Disinfect the plugs after that for one hour in a (soaking) solution of •&;Replace the plugs or soak them for 24 hours in a solution of nitric acid (pH <1; loosens dirt)
Disinfect the plugs after that for one hour in a (soaking) solution of Menno florades  4%.

Disinfecting greenhouse areas
When everything is dry, start disinfecting. Preferably, lather up the surfaces. For manual foaming, use the foam sprayer and when machine foaming with the spray truck, use the foamset. . Also include the gutters, CO2 hoses, dripper system, duct-rail system, concrete legs and heating ducts. 
Disinfect the entire greenhouse space with Menno florades (4%). Use at least 2,500 - 3,000 liters of liquid per hectare. This product should not be rinsed off. To ensure a longest possible contact time, make sure that the space stays moist as long as possible (skylights closed, dark day, low temperature). In case of a short cultivation period (about 2 weeks), please contact our HortiHygienz team.  
Menno florades© is a plant protection product about which research is available on many pathogens in terms of concentrations and actions over time. Cucumber mosaic studies show that Menno florades inactivates this virus after one hour. Menno florades© is broad-acting, kind to fabrics (not corrosive) and can also be applied as a foam! Foam has the advantage of getting into cracks and holes, enabling a longer contact time, and that it makes treatment visible.
Withdraw (ground) sheet covers, pull gutter covers over the gutters and place the mats. Related to bacteria, molds and viruses, choose a ground cover for the total area. Pay extra attention to fitting it properly to concrete paths.
Use fine drops to spray the mats and sheeting with stabilized hydrogen peroxide such as Huwa-San two days before planting. Huwa-San can also be applied via fog or LVM. It is very important that everything is dry (warmed) and well aired (pay attention with AC sheeting)!

Carts & Machines
Foam clean ductrail carts, spray robots and other equipment/machines with Hortisept Clean Plus using the foam applicator  Plant juices and other pollutants are easily loosened by this method. As an ecological alternative, Floorclean can also be used for this purpose. For cleaning the sorting machine, use Nutriclean (HACCP approved).
The foam applicator is easily connected to a water hose (3 bars). Benefits of foam application: visual control and better adhesion. Rinse the product off within 5 minutes. Prevent it from drying and prevent contact with electronics
Cleaning of e.g. concrete (paths), floors of shed and canteen areas can also be done with the foam applicator + Menno Hortisept Clean Plus (1 - 3%). Contaminated floors can also be cleaned perfectly with the ecological product: Floorclean (1 - 5% soaking for a minimum of 10 minutes). Spray away the dirt before it dries. After this, disinfect all surfaces with Menno florades, use a foam solution as an option.
Small tools
Soak small tools such as knives and scissors for 15 minutes in a solution of Menno florades (4%). (Check the pH of the solution which works at pH 3 - 4.5)
Dripper hose cleaning
During cultivation, apply Huwa-San (practical dose for good water quality; 40 cc/m3) to combat biofilm and the spread of pathogens. Good results are achieved against the spread of crazy roots, fusarium and pythium for instance. 
Hygiene for feet and wheels
Use a   Flexxo-mat (Person PT or Transport TT) to disinfect feet and/or wheels. For compulsory disinfection of hands and feet, use a (URK) Flexxo-mat. . Monitor the pH of Menno florades solution in the mat. This is active at a pH of 3 – 4.5. Also use test strips
Hand hygiene
At the entrance, place a hand basin with  Menno H disinfectant soap for use by employees and visitors (also loosens plant sap). Repeat this process when starting work and after work breaks. Use  Enno Rapid (hand disinfectant benzoic acid with alcohol) when entering the greenhouse/storage area and during work practices. This is also suitable for disinfection of small items in between times. 
Also clean (Hortisept Clean Plus) & disinfect (Menno florades) materials regularly during the cultivation period. Use the foam jet, foam applicator, or manual foam pump.
Other issues Make the hygiene rules clear to visitors and employees. Use a visitor registration system and provide guest overalls, over-boots and gloves. Set up a hygiene protocol, make sure that your employees are familiar with this and make one person (per location) responsible for total hygiene management.

Please note: the recommendations in this protocol are based on approvals of products in the Netherlands.



Whitepaper: Crop rotation - Finish clean, start clean

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Your new crop infected with pests and diseases after the crop rotation? That's a complete disaster! You can prevent this with the right hygiene measures. In this whitepaper you will find a step-by-step plan to start your crop clean.


More information about the cucumber hygiene protocol

Do you have questions about the cucumber hygiene protocol, or would you like tailor-made advice? Please contact disinfection specialist Jasper Verhoeven using the form below. You will receive a response as soon as possible - on weekdays even within 24 hours.

Jasper VerhoevenAbout Jasper Verhoeven

Jasper Verhoeven, product specialist disinfection, is the first point of contact for growers when it comes to hygiene. "Customized advice has become increasingly more important, due to the risen demand for hygiene measures in horticulture and the associated challenges. Every time, I see it as a challenge to help a grower to create the ultimate situation at his enterprize."