"An even coating is very important"

An even coating ensures that the light entering the greenhouse is also uniform. That is better for the climate control and the condition of the crop. Taking care during application has an impact for the entire season.

There are several ways to apply a coating: by hand, with an adapted roof cleaner, with a special machine or with a helicopter. Everyone has their own approach, but in all cases: precision leads to the best result. If the coating is unevenly distributed the crop can suffer stress in the areas where the layer is too thin and receive too little light where it is too thick. In addition, differences in radiation lead to differences in climate, which makes the climate control somewhat more complicated. A greenhouse company that applies the coating themselves is best to train someone especially for that job.

Speed of application
HPW Spuittechnieken specialises in the mechanical application and removal of greenhouse coatings. “This is much faster than doing it manually,” says Gert-Jan van Hattem. “A team applying a coating manually can achieve 2.5 ha per day; in the same time we can cover 20 ha because we use special pumps with a lot of pressure. Also, by applying a coating mechanically you lose very little product and you usually get a more even layer. Thirdly, it is also safer: there is no danger of someone falling through the greenhouse roof.” In fact in some countries it is forbidden to go onto the greenhouse roof. Then coating by hand is not possible and even the machine has to be operated from a platform.

Mechanical is cheaper
HPW Spuittechnieken operates in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Germany and Austria. Demand is increasing, says Van Hattem. It is, of course, quite remarkable that a Dutch company is hired to do the job when local contractors are also available to apply the coating. As well as the quality of the application, HPW Spuittechnieken is also very price competitive, he says. “Our investment in equipment enables us to work very fast, even faster than a helicopter. Our mixing unit can mix 150 litres per minute. The pumps have a capacity of 50 litres per minute. This results in a fast operating speed and for a relatively low price. For example, in southern Germany manual application costs 12 cent per m2 while mechanically it can be done for 8 cent/m2.” The use of Sudlac’s products is increasing, but the growth varies per country. “One of Sudlac’s strong points is that, for example, in France the company supervises growers as much as possible,” says Van Hattem.

For more information:
Jorien Plak-Schouten
+31 (0)6-42736969

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