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Last Friday Vice governor of Gyeongsangnam-do province, Republic of Korea visited New Zealand. Louise Millar, Senior Technical Sales Representative from Enza Zaden Oceania organised visits to Gellert Nurseries and Lee Wang Hothouse in South Auckland.
The purpose of the visit to New Zealand was to gain an understanding of greenhouse crop production here and to discuss the challenges for future greenhouse development.
Gellert Nurseries has recently expanded its house plant operation by building a state of the art new one-hectare extension. The extension has the most hi-tech growing system in New Zealand with a fully robotic table moving system. The entire greenhouse is fully covered with tables that can be sent and brought back to the dispatch area when required using robotic carts. Every square meter of growing space is utilised.
The irrigation system is equally as impressive with overhead boom irrigation that delivers the exact amount of irrigation to the tables when required, each area has its own irrigation system allowing for multiple recipes to be used to target cultivar specific requirements. All the fertiliser and water is fully recycled.
A robotic potting machine has been installed that spaces plants evenly on the tables, depending on their spacing needs, another key feature. The greenhouse has diffused glass. Two screens have been installed, one an energy screen, the other a shade screen. Not only are there two horizontal screens in the roof trusses but the greenhouse is also equipped with vertical side wall screens for ultimate energy efficiencies.
The delegation was highly impressed with the entire operation at Gellert Nurseries.
Following the visit to Gellerts the delegation visited well known Short-Green Cucumber grower Edward Lee, owner of Lee Wang Hothouse near Pukekohe. At this site the delegation was able to see how the plants from the nursery were then transferred and planted onto the substrates.
A demonstration of the environmental computer system was followed by a display of the hand-held water content and EC sensors used to monitor the substrates. In the greenhouse the group could appreciate the length of a crop was that was layered and grown to maturity.
James and Mark Currie owners and directors of FTEK were also on hand to show case their fully automated hose-less Tek-Spray machine and their amazing Tek-Lift’s.
Unfortunately, a visit to a tomato or capsicum crop were not considered due to plant hygiene concerns.
The Region of Gyeongsangnam-do:
“Gyeongsangnam-do is the core region of protected horticulture industry in Rep. of Korea and GNARES (Gyeongsangnam-do Agricultural Research & Extension Services) has a long-standing relationship with Enza since the first introduction of Capsicum varieties in 1996. GNARES has ATEC (Agricultural Technology and Education Center) and has been designated by the Korean government as the representative horticultural training center of the nation and has a 1-hectare high tech greenhouse for practical technique development and variety characteristic monitoring of fruiting vegetables. As the governmental institution, ATEC is leading the dissemination of hydroponic technology and sharing new varieties within Korea.
From Left, Edward Lee, James Currie, Louise Millar, Mark Currie, Kim Byung-kyoo, (Vice Governor of Economy, Gyeongsangnam-do Provincial Government) Lim Chae Shin (Agricultural Research and Extension Services) and Mrs and Mr Lee – Lee Wang Hothouse.
Other Delegation members included:
Kim Hyoung-Seok – Vice President of Marketing for Bumhan Fuel Cell
Lee Hong – Vice President for Kohygen
Baek Seung Kwan – Administration Division – Gyeongsangnam-do Provincial Government
Hong Jung Kyu – Manger and PhD in Engineering from GNTP – Gyeongnam Techno Park
A special thanks to Rebecca Kim, Senior Advisor at the Republic of Korea consulate based in Auckland for her assistance.
Article compiled by Stefan Vogrincic
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