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THE FIRST Scottish strawberries of the season have reached supermarket shelves.

Aldi’s first pick of the punnets were grown by Tim Stockwell at Barnsmuir Farm in Fife for Angus Soft Fruits, which supplies Aldi stores across Scotland with fresh berries from 18 other growers based across Tayside and Fife.

Tim commented: “It is exciting to be sending the first Scottish strawberries of the season to Aldi as we celebrate the new harvest. As with countless other businesses, we too are facing difficulties as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, but we’re all pulling together and this year more than ever, it certainly feels like a real achievement to be able to supply Aldi customers with the first punnets from this year’s first crop of Scottish strawberries.”

Aldi has been working with Angus Soft Fruits to ensure Scottish-grown strawberries will be readily available in stores this spring and summer.

Group Buying Director of Aldi Scotland, Graham Nicolson, said: “The arrival of the Scottish strawberry season is always welcomed by our customers, and we’re pleased to be the first supermarket to offer Scottish strawberries this year. In the current climate it is more important than ever for us to support our network of Scottish suppliers, who work day in, day out to deliver top quality produce for our customers,” he continued. “We know that times are hard, but with Scottish strawberries renowned for their taste and quality, we hope the arrival of the first crop will bring some happiness and the early taste of summer to our customers.”

Tim Stockwell
Barnsmuir Farm. photographer Fraser Band
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Senmatic LCC4 Climate controller

We recently commissioned Senmatic LCC4 to a well known horticultural plant producer. As seen on photos Full vent control for 4 compartments, automated programming based on crop requirements.

Climate control is the most important factor in order to grow premium quality horticultural plants. Couple this with the importance of efficient and responsible energy consumption, then a Senmatic LCC4 must be considered as the ultimate solution to meet all the demands of a modern horticultural operation. The user-friendly controller that can have up to 16 compartments. Outdoor weather station, greenhouse climate sensors as humidity, temperature, light, C02. Heating control, screen control, LED control and so much more.

Also the LCC4 is based on state-of-the-art technology and an advanced operating system and is therefore easy to update and expand with more functions and capacity.

We see Senmatic as the ultimate solution that any grower needs. A user clear friendly display will show each control zone on the nursery. With the ability to view graphs of all data collected by the computer through Superlink 6 Software. Overseeing the current and forecast weather, the conscientious grower will quickly and easily be able to see what is happening inside and outside the glasshouse.

If you are looking to step up your growing controls to be more precise, give us a call and we are happy to quote a fully automated system.

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Supreme has progressed with the upgrades of the factory

Despite the difficult period, Supreme have progressed with the upgrades of the factory to make more automated the process of production and assembly. As we all know, investments are absolutely necessary in managing the speed of growth and the costs involved in this growth and clearly Supreme has stepped up to the challenge. We applaud these actions.

So customers, feel free to order as much material as you need and we should be better to place to satisfy your delivery requirements!

This is part of a larger plan to install more automation and robots throughout the production process along many of the product that Supreme offer.

Supreme have an ambitious 3 year road map which Ripple Aquaplast are honoured to be part of. We have ambitions to double turnover with the existing range and new products as we know that Supreme are renown for quality and precision, backed of course by a great technical support team, the future is looking bright.

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HPNow Participating in Horizon 2020

Europe’s Largest Research & Innovation Programme

The Horizon 2020 SME programme has helped HPNow develop and bring to market their irrigation water treatment solution under Horizon 2020’s ‘Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for sustainable and competitive agriculture, forestry, agri-food and bio-based sectors’ area of interest.

A successful project outcome will substantially contribute to the following challenges:

  • Safer and healthier food through reduction in the use of toxic chemical agents.
  • Increased crop-yields, and reduced losses, through reliable and homogeneous irrigation, improved plant health.
  • Improved resource efficiency through facilitation of use of efficient irrigation.
  • Sustainable, more environmentally friendly agricultural and food industries.
  • Reduced farm occupational hazards.

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Second AMI Penta fertilizer Mixer installed in Scotland

Bringing glasshouse technology onto the field. Second AMI Penta fertilizer Mixer installed in Scotland for precise fertigation with irrigation control for a soft fruit farm. Having the SIIP system in place this will become automatic, taking moisture, drainage and climate readings from the field. Based on user targets, the software will take control over crop requirements and adjust accordingly.

AMI Penta sets even greater focus on the plants’ need for precision fertilizing and accurate acidity in the irrigation water at the right time. We have never seen a more precise dosing of EC and pH, giving the plants the required nutrients at the right pH.

AMI Penta fertilizer mixer is easy to operate with well-arranged menus shown on a large 10.1″ touch screen.

Many languages are available and switching between them is very simple. This minimizes the risk of human errors in companies employing people of different nationality.

Current setup controls 16 valves for growing tabletop strawberries. For each group, you can choose between 20 different recipes with information about EC, pH and the fertilizer mix. Irrigation time and volume can be set individually for each valve. Adjustments by radiation, drainage or climate.

The software in AMI Penta is based on a standard operating system and is easy to update and expand with more functions and larger capacity when needed. AMI Penta will be connected to one central PC with the SuperLink 6 central control program for further analysis. Graphics that you can build on like chill units, GDH and disease forecast models.

It’s an exciting new development that will help you focus on more precise growing.

To read more about about Senmatic SIIP, see our page below.

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First Senmatic Penta mixing rig in Scotland

The very first installation of the Senmatic Penta mixing rig in Scotland in what I think it is fair to say under ‘challenging’ conditions, which at this time of year it often is! Just a few more pieces to add and adjust and the bags will be wetted up.

The Senmatic software is using glasshouse technology for the field and the control that the irrigation team will have, is second to none. As I’m sure the picture shows, the stainless steel construction is demonstrating a high quality piece of equipment designed for many years of service.

The unit is also capable of running the Senmatic SiiP sensor system for autopilot or semi autopilot control. This is something that owner will look at later in the season as maintaining a high level of autonomous control via the computer is becoming a must for any grower.

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UK Soft Fruit Grower Invests in Cleaner Water

…and Increase Their Future Water Security

Issues included significant organic activity in reservoir water and bio-slime in pipes, which often leads to irregular irrigation output and blocked drippers.

To cover all of their farm, which has a daily peak usage of 1600m3 , required 2 x HP-A1500 units and a series of IBCs. HPNow supply a simple to use calculator to confirm the units required for your particular system.

A central HPGen UltraPure Peroxide ™ unit was installed in an existing shed with a 230v supply, mains water and access to the internet. From this central point, the IBCs are transported to the different pump houses.

Each of the 22 irrigation pumps and feed systems has been supplied with a separate Tefen E300 electronic injection system.
The ppm of the HPGen UltraPure Peroxide ™ is checked using a simple test paper with colour coding, which indicates the amount present.

With remote access, maintenance and control is simple and immediate.

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HP Now – Controls Algae, Pathogens and Bio-Film

When Ripple Aquaplast signed up to HPNow technology, I don’t think we quite realised the interest in this unit would be so great. The patented idea of producing your own H2O2 to control and eliminate pathogens, algae and bioslime as well as oxygenating your crop clearly offers growers something which thy have been looking for.

The control of costs where the initial investment is then only followed by the cost of water and 240v electrical supply (bar the occasional unit service) offers a control on outgoings which is important as every businessman knows. The material produced is safe! Safety of employees is so paramount on today’s farms and the HPNow unit gives this security. And the use of H2O2 is well known with its only real downside is the degrading of the product over a relatively short period of time (2 to 3 weeks). But the HPNow unit eliminates this lifespan by allowing growers to produce exactly what they want to use so there is no storage requirement!

The HPNow team are making various visits to the UK in the coming months so get yourself booked in and learn more about this product with real potential.

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Fruit Focus 2019

The 2019 Fruit Focus was well organised and well attended. People were in the mood to discuss new ideas and improvements to existing systems. With the political uncertainty in the UK our focus needs to be on doing what we have, but better. Attention to dripper uniformity and longevity is one of the key aspects that Ripple Aquaplast specialise in. With our team working in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK, checking outputs over a period of time is clearly important in producing a consistent crop. No longer can farms just sit back and hope that a 15 year old dripper is going to work as well as it did in year one.

Added to this is the revolutionary HPNow unit which allows H2O2 to be produced on site in safe concentrations – 150ppm – to be injected into the irrigation system at between 2-4ppm. It’s so simple and the interest from many growers across the soft fruit market place was much greater than even we thought would happen! We must have at least 20 follow ups to farms who have algae, pathogen or bioslime issues who are looking for a simple, smart and safe solution.

It was great to see so many people in the Kent sunshine and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their business in 2019 and look forward to pushing forward for the rest of the year and into next year

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Bransford Webbs Sends Zero Waste to Landfill

The Bransford Webbs Plant Company has announced that, working in conjunction with its in conjunction with its waste collection contractor Smiths of Gloucester, it is now a zero to landfill business.

As well as being at the forefront of the industry initiative to replace black plastic pots with a taupe kerbside-recyclable alternative, all the company’s waste which would traditionally have gone to landfill, is now being diverted through other means, including Energy from Waste (where it is burnt at over 850°C to generate heat to produce electricity) and Refuse Derived from Fuel (produced by sorting and processing solid general waste which is shredded and baled up to be used as fuel). Any unburnt waste collects as bottom ash and can be used in recycled building materials. In additional, all emissions from energy-from-waste generation are carefully controlled.

In a statement, Bransford Webbs said that were, “Very proud of their environmental credentials and have achieved the BS8555 accreditation for environmental management for ten consecutive years, having first achieved this important certification back in 2008. Our environmental objectives are reviewed and updated on an annual basis.”

Among other targets, the company has reduced its use of peat, and catches and reuses all the rainwater which falls on the glasshouses and buildings.

The Bransford Webbs Plant Company has announced that, working in conjunction with its in conjunction with its waste collection contractor Smiths of Gloucester, it is now a zero to landfill business.

Photo Credit: Bransford Webbs | Article Source: HortNews