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Which preparations do you have to make for the crop rotation?

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Written by Martin Meuldijk | Latest update: 17-06-2020 

Preparations for crop rotationFor many growers, the crop rotation is a busy period. During this period, all kinds of different activities have to be carried out. In order to ensure that this process runs as smooth as possible, it is good to work in a planned manner and to make the right preparations. This way you can be sure that you will not be faced with any surprises during the crop rotation.

Ordering products on time

Make sure you order all your required products on time. This saves you a lot of stress before and during the crop rotation. Here below you can find an overview of the products you need for the crop rotation:
  • High wire hooks and rope: in many vegetable crops high wire hooks are used to bring the crop to the optimum working height and to be able to tie up young plants more quickly. The high wire hooks can be supplied in different types and sizes and with different types of rope. Make sure you order the hooks on time, because these products have an average production time of 6 to 10 weeks.
  • Substrate mats: Substrate mats must also be ordered on time. When choosing a substrate mat, the species of cultivation is the most important factor. Each crop has its own wishes and expectations, to which a substrate mat connects. For example a fast root-through of the plant, or a fully controllable substrate. It also depends on the desired use: one mat can be used for one year, while other mats can also be used for several years. Substrate mats also have an average production time of 8 weeks.
  • Ground cover: Ground cover - also known as anti-root fabric - is used in horticulture for various purposes, such as light reflection, weed control, protection of your water reservoir and for clearing the greenhouse. Ground cover can be used for a several years, but will need to be replaced after about 5 to 7 years. To choose the best type Ground cover depends on the use. Ground cover has an average production time of 10 weeks.
  • AC film: this film ensures that the resulting condensation flows over the surface of the film. The moisture attaches to the film. That way there are hardly any drops and therefore no drops can fall up on the crop. It also creates a warmer greenhouse climate for young plants. Because of the length of the production process, it is best to order AC film as quickly as possible
  • Gutter film: this is film you attach to the cultivation gutters. It prevents residue formation and undesired root growth and extends the life of the gutter. Placing the gutter film can be done manually, but is much faster with the help of the Rewind trolley. It is also best to order this film as early as possible.
  • Other films: in some crops, other films are also used, such as substrate film, dark film or cover film. If you have any questions about the other films, please contact the representative for your region.
  • Clips: in the tomato cultivation, clips are often used at the start of the new cultivation. These clips support the fragile young plant in certain places, preventing it from ripping or breaking. Clips have an average production time of 4 weeks.
  • CO2 hoses: CO2 can be distributed evenly in the crop with CO2 hoses. The choice of a certain type of CO2 hose depends on the climate in which you grow it. The climate of cultivation determines the amount of CO2 required in the crop. This in turn determines the diameter and the puncture distance of the CO2 hose. When ordering CO2 hoses, bear in mind that you are measuring them correctly. Given the length of the production process, it is best to order CO2 hoses as early as possible.
  • Workwear: you need certain workwear for the crop rotation:
    Gloves that protect against heavy work such as lowering the hooks.
    Dust caps and eye protection against the winding-up dust during clearing.
    Overalls and masks for cleaning and disinfecting the greenhouse.
  • Knives and scissors: There are different knives and scissors for different activities to make the work as easy as possible. For instance there are knives and scissors for cutting the leaves or for cutting the stem of the plant.
  • Plugs and drip hoses: these often last for several years, but need to be replaced every few years.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting products: cleaning and disinfection are of great importance for the hygienic start of the new crop. This is the only way to combat diseases, bacteria and pests from the old crop and to prevent contamination of the new crop. For more information about authorized products in your country, please contact your account manager.
  • Remaining products: other products that are often needed when changing crops are brooms, dustpans and cans, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, buckets and measuring cups.

Products for crop rotation

Ordering machines

A number of crop rotation activities, such as removing the crop (Super Twister and Multiroller), shredding the crop (Bio Chopper), removing foil, atlas wires and screen cloth (AC-E roller), removing other materials (Bio Hopper XL) and cleaning the greenhouse (Aquajet), can be done with machines. These machines makes the work a lot less labour-intensive and also saves time. If you want to use (one of) these machines, make sure you order them on time.

Machine maintenance 

The preparations for the crop rotation are a relatively quiet period on many companies. Make use of available of time by checking the machines and equipment you need during the crop rotation process. For example, check the batteries of the tubular rail wagons, check whether the forklifts are working properly and replace the nozzles of the high-pressure cleaner if necessary. Required parts can easily be ordered through the Spare part finder.

Managing all service and maintenance work is quite a job, but essential for operational management and safety. Preventive maintenance prevents downtime, breakdowns and therefore unnecessary costs. The Service Engine helps you to easily manage service and maintenance on your business.

Questions about preparations for crop rotation

Do you have questions about the preparations for the crop rotation, or do you want more information about one of the products mentioned above? Contact your account manager, or ask your question using the form below. We'll contact you within 24 hours on working days. 

Martin MeuldijkAbout Martin Meuldijk

Martin Meuldijk has had more than 20 years of experience in the glass horticulture, nationally as well as internationally. Ever since 2016 he has been working at Royal Brinkman as a product specialist for the topics of Crop Rotation and Service Items. He likes to help growers to get the best results from their cultivation. His approach? ";Do what you say and say what you do: that is my motto. I attach great importance to always giving proper and honest advice."

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