28
Aug 2023

Polytunnels: The Perfect Solution for Successful Strawberry Farming

Polytunnels: The Perfect Solution for Successful Strawberry Farming
Harakeke Berries has adopted a system of six tabletops per tunnel “The single tabletops have performed very well for us.”

Protective cropping is essential for maintaining optimal growing conditions and protecting crops from external factors such as climate and pesticides that could hinder their growth. One increasingly popular method is the use of polytunnels, which provide a controlled environment for crops to thrive. We recently had the opportunity to speak to the General Manager of Commercial Operations from Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa Developments Ltd, who oversees the strawberry farm, Harakeke Berries, in Whanganui utilising polytunnels as part of their protective cropping strategy. The Polytunnel systems were manufactured by Elite Tunnels Ltd UK and supported by New Zealand based company Empak, both fully owned entities of the Tapex Group. Polytunnels have helped contribute to the success of their strawberry farm with a growth plan to relocate an additional 2 ha of polytunnels to the current 3.1 ha already installed.

Overhead Netting Structure Ensures Optimal Performance

Harekeke Berries’ strawberry farm covers 6 ha of land, with 3.1 ha currently protected. The polytunnels, equipped with an overhead netting structure, have performed well. This combination of technologies has been instrumental in protecting crops from adverse weather conditions, such as recent intense winds. The areas under the tunnels were effectively shielded, ensuring minimal damage to their strawberry crop.

Singe Table Tops for Optimal Crop Management

Harakeke Berries has adopted a system of six tabletops per tunnel “The single tabletops have performed very well for us. The ergonomics around them are friendly for our pickers. Single tabletops have proven to be a practical solution.”

Windbreak and Pest Control

Some success of the strawberry farm could be attributed to the polytunnels and the installation of the overhead canopy. The overhead canopy structures and the tunnels create a protective barrier against strong winds and crop damage and ensure the strawberry plants’ longevity.

Harakeke Berries’ experience with polytunnels demonstrates the benefits of protective cropping. The combination of polytunnels and windbreaks has created a favourable environment for their strawberries, protecting against wind damage and reducing the need for chemical pest control. Additionally, the ergonomic design of the single tabletops will enhance efficiency on the farm.

As a protective cropping company specialising in polytunnels, we are thrilled to see how our solutions have been implemented on the farm. We remain committed to providing innovative technologies and collaborating with our clients to ensure optimal crop growth and maximum yields. If you’re considering implementing protective cropping techniques, such as polytunnels, we invite you to contact us to explore how our solutions can benefit your farming operations.

For more information on Elite Tunnels contact the New Zealand supplier –
Empak Protective Cropping Solutions
Shane Burns
Mobile: +64 275 354 886
Email: sburns@empak.com.nz
Web: https://empak.co.nz/
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