It is almost time for growers to rotate their crops, which goes hand in hand with a big clean-up of their greenhouses. That is why the industry is giving out several messages with tips and advice, including the use of disinfectants to combat mould and viruses. Unfortunately, these practices are not always without consequences, as Renko Schuil, account manager at Metazet FormFlex, also has noticed.
Disinfecting aggressively not always without consequences
"It is only logical that growers prioritise their yield and that they do everything they can to protect their crop in the first place. A failed harvest is a high cost factor, and there is not a single hard-working entrepreneur who wants to deal with that.
However, in the last few years, we have seen a trend in a more aggressive way of disinfecting, which is not always without consequences. On the one hand, there is the battle to protect the yield and limit the damage. But on the other hand, there is also the increasing and considerable damage that occurs because the used disinfectants are often corrosive to the materials of the greenhouse elements and structure."
Do not follow advice blindly
Renko has some tips when it comes to the use of disinfectants. "A lot of damage can easily be avoided if you rinse with water immediately after cleaning and not to leave the product on for any longer than indicated in the guidelines. On top of that, the disinfectant should be diluted as described in the instructions and therefore not used in a concentration that is too high."
In short: "Do not follow advice blindly but adhere to the prescribed guidelines. If you have doubts, you should seek advice from the disinfectant supplier and do not forget to test the product on a small part of the material you need to clean/disinfect first to prevent any harmful side-effects."
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