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Tips for labor savings in horticulture

Labor saving
Written by Michael Visser  | Last update: 20-06-2020

Labor is becoming increasingly scarce in the horticultural sector. Nowadays, good workers are harder to find than before, putting the daily operations at risk. Also, the minimum wage has skyrocketed in recent years. These issues make labor a costly and difficult aspect of horticulture. Fortunately, there are great alternatives, and with the continuous development of machinery, mechanisation it is becoming an increasingly popular choice. In this article we list the possibilities for labor savings in horticulture. 

Automation of repetitive operations

Automation of certain activities can reduce on the cost price of a product, because it improves both the efficiency of the business process and the quality of the product. The initial investment costs of automation are often higher, but in the long term you can save greatly on labor costs. You don't have to deal with unnecessary work, working conditions, environmental factors, etc. This way your employees can focus on activities that need a human touch. But on what operations can you save labor?

Video: Berg Hortimotive pipe rail trolleys for working on hight.  

Crop rotation

Crop rotation can be a hectic period with many since there is a lot of work that needs to be done, such as removing and shredding the crop, placing stone wool mats and removing screen cloth. Various machines allow you to automate these operations, making you less dependent on human labor, improving efficiency and saving money in the end.

Remove leaves

During the cutting process leaves often end up on the ground in the path. These leaves are often removed manually by raking them together, of by picking them up and depositing the matieral in crates. Using a vacuum leaf sweeper mounted on the pipe rail system, you can easily clean the path. 

Video: Crop shredder Chopper

High wire hooks

Manually winding hooks is a labour-intensive operation which can easily be avoided by purchasing our pre-winded O-hooks. These hooks are easy to use and available in various colours. 

Spraying the crop

Spraying the crop is a relatively labor-intensive operation and prone to human error. With an automated spraying trolley you save on labor costs and end up with a more homogeneous distribution of your crop protection products. 

Internal transport

The internal transport in the greenhouse is of great importance to ensure that the supply of all kinds of carts and harvesters runs smoothly. By using a full automatic electric tractor, carts can ride on the induction wire without additional guidance.

Cleaning and chalking the greenhouse roof

If you rotate your crop several times a year or if you have different types of crops (each with their own light requirements), you should wash the greenhouse roof regularly and reapply (a different type of) chalk. With a greenhouse roof cleaner you can optimize both cleaning the deck and reapplying the chalk. You can also use a machine to disinfect the inside of the greenhouse deck.

Bumblebees for effective pollination

To improve pollination, plants and bunches are vibrated with the aid of a tomato pollinator. By replacing a tomato pollinator with bumblebees, natural pollination takes place without any form of human labor. Bumblebees are used worldwide in tomato cultivation nowadays. 

Labor saving machines

Questions about labor savings in horticulture

Do you have any questions about the possibilities of labor savings in horticulture, or do you want tailor-made advice? Then contact product specialist Michael Visser, or ask your question using the form below.

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Michael VisserAbout Michael Visser

Michael Visser, a mechanisation product specialist, has been working with Royal Brinkman since 2001. Owing to his experience in the horticulture sector, he knows everything about what keeps growers busy concerning technology. Michael also frequently visits customers and advises growers about machines, installations and HD-pumps. "Horticulture is a very interesting and challenging sector that is always developing. And, as a result, no day is the same as another, which is something that makes my work very pleasant and varied."

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