To run a successful business a grower needs high production, low production costs and quality. Water and water management is an essential part to achieve that. According to Jochum Genuit of Mienis Water, water management is more important than ever.
Jochum Genuit at the IFTEX 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Clean water and safe water. When we speak of water management, both of these terms are used. What is the difference and what will this bring to the grower? Jochum: “Safe water is water without bacteria, viruses, fungi, nematodes etcetera. Clean water has to do with the chemical balance, organic fouling, pollution and the TDS, but it also relates to oxygen levels and a minimum on minerals to make the water stable. Both safe and clean water gives a healthier and stronger crop. A stronger crop is more resistant and more resistance reduces the diseases which reduce the chemicals and reduces the stress in the crop. Finally, a stronger and healthier crop gives a higher production and lower production costs.”
Filtering and reusing water
If you have invested in clean and safe water, it is important to keep this water and reuse it. “A secondary treatment may be required but it will be worth it. In addition to the water, you will recycle your fertilizers. More and more important is the environment, looking after the planet and not in the last place because of more strict legislations around discharging waste(water).”
Mienis Water assists growers with consultation and with solutions. With 50 years of experience, they are the oldest supplier of reverse osmosis systems in the Netherlands. Another widely used system they supply is the Ultra Filtration (UF) system that keeps the minerals in the water and removes undissolved components such as humus acids, bacteria and the majority of viruses.
Ultra-Filtration saves costs
Jochum tells how their systems are used by clients. “At a rose grower, we installed an UF system that is treating the poor lake water quality to safe water and treat the drain water to make recycling possible. This resulted within 9 days in a healthier crop and longer stems. At a cuttings grower, the UF system recycles drain water, which saves on electricity, as they produce less RO water. It is also a big saving on fertilizer costs and almost no discharge of water from the farm. At a tomato grower, the UF system gives more control over bacteria and virus infections. So it did to a cucumber grower where very poor river water is treated by an UF and followed by an RO. The UF can also treat the drain water. This results in more control over infections and a healthier crop and better production.
Commonly used in the Netherlands
“In general, we all know that clean water gives a better and more stable production. In hydroponics, this is more important than if you grow your crop in the full ground but even than water quality is key. In the 70’s, growers in the Netherlands started to switch from surface water to rain and/or RO (reverse osmosis) water. Today most growers in the Netherlands are producing on rainwater or RO water because of the high required production. Even farmers who grow potatoes and other vegetables are looking for ways to irrigate their crops with good quality water.”
Curious about the products of Mienis Water. Next week, they will attend the IFTF and you can meet the team at the stand of their business partner Hortus Supplies International A4-14. The IFTF will be held from November 6-8 in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands