“Good water quality is essential in Lisianthus' cultivation process. We grow these flowers in full soil in greenhouses. They're sensitive to fungi like Fusarium. Germs can easily spread through the water to the entire nursery. That's why we wanted the new nursery's new, clean water system to stay clean," says Wesley van der Lugt.
Fltr: Dirk Timmers (Royal Brinkman), Wesley van der Lugt (Lugt Lisianthus), and Jef van Gorp (Roam Technology).
Wesley works at Lugt Lisianthus, a cut flower nursery in the Netherlands. "We wanted something that would keep the pipes clean in the long term. We found this by adding the disinfectant Huwa-San TR-50 during cultivation. We mostly use an overhead sprinkler system. The first flowers open during the last week of cultivation. That's when we water from below via a drip hose."
They've been growing Lisianthus at this 5.8-hectare nursery since the end of 2019. Over time, without treatment, organic film builds up in any watering system inside the pipes. This film houses an abundance of bacteria and fungi. This multiplies and causes blockages which results in uneven irrigation. "That's not what we want at all. It causes dry spots and uneven crop growth," explains Wesley.
Lugt Lisianthus wanted to prevent the accumulation of this organic film. So, they've been treating their water since June 2020. The substance, Huwa-San TR-50, doesn't harm the flowers. It's added to both the top and bottom irrigation water supplies.
Huwa-San TR-50 is silver-stabilized hydrogen peroxide. This stable water disinfectant powerfully combats micro-organisms. A flow-controlled dosing pump automatically doses the water with this treatment agent. That's done directly into the pressurized pipe. At the start of the dosing process, a zero measurement is taken. A start-up recommendation is then made.
Dirk Timmers is a hygiene and disinfectant product specialist at Royal Brinkman. “We provide year-round targeted follow-up and technical support. Along with the user, we not only consider the best approach to tackle contamination. We also want to prevent blockages in the water system," he says.
“We analyze Lugt Lisianthus' water quarterly. We take several water samples from the greenhouse and from the top and bottom irrigation systems. And near the unit and from their reservoir. An independent laboratory tests these and gives advice. That's about the dosage or addressing the issue at a particular spot. Say there are high bacterial counts in the reservoir. We can take targeted, effective action. This way, we get an overall picture of the whole nursery's water quality," says Dirk.
Huwa-San is more than a single production system. It's a total concept. Royal Brinkman provides it together with supplier Roam Technology. "We use a digital SPI meter to very accurately measure Huwa-San-TR-50 levels. That's done anywhere in the water system. You can quickly see that the dosing pump's concentration is also measurable in the pipes. The grower is, therefore, also convinced that the agent is reaching everywhere," says Jef van Gorp. He's responsible for technical sales at Roam Technology.
The grower can use test strips to take easy readings too. He can use these to quickly measure the water's hydrogen peroxide content. Within seconds, these test strips indicate the Huwa-San TR-50 concentration present in the water sample. The product aligns with responsible, sustainable cultivation. It has the correct permit and complies with the strictest production standards. And not unimportantly, after doing their job, the test strips decompose entirely. That's into water and oxygen.
Huwa-San TR-50 has greatly improved Van der Lugt Lisianthus' situation. The water supply system is still spotless. Huwa-San TR-50 tackles organic film well in the watering system. Microorganisms have less chance of spreading in the nursery. The grower no longer has to unscrew the sprinklers and clean the sieves twice a year, either. That means it takes considerably less work to keep the water and pipes clean.
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