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A Swedish view on high-wire winter cucumber production
Automatic lowering system
Recently I came across the video, below, from BASF – Nunhems. As well as the fantastic high-tech growing facility in Sweden, the intriguing aspect of this clip was the automatic lowering system. The automatic lowering system is only a short segment of the video but sparked my interest. Profit has to be maintained. However, labour costs, compliance, ever-increasing costs of goods and services are rising faster than the rate of returns. In my opinion this type of automatic lowering system technology should be seriously investigated.
At the present time prices for cucumbers is great, this is generally the case in the NZ Winter. In the long-term growers, that manage costs and maintain productivity, will continue to do well. I can see this type of technology and investment being positive for small and large growers with relatively short return on investment. Well worth watching the video and I would appreciate any feedback. (Stefan Vogrincic)
Roy Rosendahl from Klagstorps Grukodling AB is one of the very few Swedish cucumber growers who are running winter production under lights.
9 years ago, Rosendahl changed from tomatoes to cucumbers. It was not a very big step for him, but growing cucumbers is surely tougher than growing tomatoes. “These plants grow 65 up to 75 centimeters per week in summertime. And the tomatoes maybe did 25. So, it is a much, much bigger challenge”, Roy says.
This is one of the reasons why he equipped his greenhouse with an automatic lowering system. “It means that you have about 60 meters on the roll. And you can lower the whole line in one shot”, he explains. “This also means that there has to be a very even temperature in the greenhouse because otherwise the plants grow much more on one side than on the other.”
Rosendahl explains the benefits of a lighted high-wire cucumber crop: “It is the perfect combination for better fruit quality and to avoid problems with mycosphaerella”. He believes that the Swedish market for winter production has opportunities to develop further, “but the investment in lights is very high so you need to be sure to get a fixed price for the cucumbers”, he adds.
For more information, please contact
Market Development Vegetable Seeds
Mobile: +64 (0) 21 731 009,
Postal Address: BASF New Zealand Ltd, Level 4, 4 Leonard Isitt Drive, 2022 Auckland, New Zealand