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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

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UK Soft Fruit Continues Popularity Surge

The Fresh Produce Journal reports that consumer demand for soft fruit shows no signs of slowing down after the sector recorded a volume increase of 3.3 percent last year, while values rose 7.9 percent.

The article quotes Jo Mumford, business strategy analyst at fruit supplier AG Thames, as saying, “Blueberries and raspberries have featured with ever-increasing frequency in shoppers’ baskets, with the number of purchase occasions being a key driver of change for the berry category. Nearly nine in ten households now buy berries during the course of a year, which continues to show small uplifts as more and more shoppers encounter their benefits.”

However, issues such as labour availability and last year’s hot weather have caused issues for growers, while fierce supermarket competition is putting prices under pressure. While the growth seen in the category is significant, some analysts point out that it is lower than that seen more than a decade ago when the berry craze began.

Source: HortNews

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Introducing Aqublu

A revolutionary new product from Ripple Aquaplast from our PVC pipe manufacturers. Offering increased strength and cracking resistance, it allows thinner wall thickness’s for the same proven pressure rating. How? It’s the unique blend of PVC and PE which takes the best of both worlds. Join together by the fixed rubber ring, you can either use saddles or regular PVC fittings with solvent weld. AquBlu is light in weight so easy to handle.

This pipe is the future of PVC mains.

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Berry Gardens aims to double business

Berry Gardens chief executive Jacqui Green has revealed that the soft- and stonefruit cooperative plans to double its turnover to £700 million by the mid-2020s.

Her comments came during a discussion of the business and the overall industry with FJP editor Michael Barker at the FPJ Live event in Coventry last week. The expansion, which comes along with previously announced plans for new and improved production facilities, is part of the company’s PICK initiative, which stands for People; Innovation; Collaboration and Knowledge.

“We’ve got some really ambitious growth plans, and maybe Brexit might have a big influence on it, but we’re looking to double the size of the business by the mid-2020s,” said Jacqui. “We’d [previously] looked at the future and it wasn’t comfortable. A lot of growth has been grower-driven.”

She added that thanks to their healthy eating message, berries had the potential to compete with unhealthy confectionery and snacks and that this was where she saw most future growth in consumption coming from.

Photo Caption: Jacqui Green speaking at FPJ Live

Photo Credit: Richard Crowhurst

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PO Funding Guaranteed Until End Of Parliament

Defra has pledged to maintain current levels of funding for recognised producer organisations (POs) until the end of the current parliament following Brexit.

The announcement means that the government will take over the £35 million of funding, which is currently provided via the EU Fresh Fruit and Veg Scheme until 2022. The funding will continue to be matched by growers in the 33 UK POs.

NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair Ali Capper said that she was delighted by the news, adding it would provide “much needed clarity and certainty for the grower-members of producer organisations which sell 50 per cent of all British fruit and veg.”

Photo Caption: There are 33 producer organisations in the UK.

Photo Credit: pxhere