Strawberries are a very exciting crop to grow in automatic retractable roof houses. While it is common for growers to begin with conventional tunnels, retractable roof houses are the next logical step when growers want to harvest during the warm and hot times of the year when conventional tunnels are no longer optimal. Growers will also enjoy producing firm berries with great flavor and a long shelf life at the same time as reducing chemical residues.
Spotted wing drosophila can also be managed easier in a retractable roof since the excellent ventilation through the roof allows the walls to remain closed helping to prevent the pest entry.
After reviewing the results of the trials at their Sustainable Strawberry Project in the UK, Marks and Spencer commented:
"The Cravo system has the potential to change the industry as we know it. For M&S it delivers pesticide reductions, quality improvements, water capture and product that is less affected by the elements that we face. For our growers it offers a true solution on sustainability in a very competitive area of fruit production"
"One of the most promising results, demonstrated so far, concerns the reduction of chemical fungicides and pesticides. Using the Cravo control system as a combative tool, facilitated an observation based attitude to disease control. Consequently this led to a 94% reduction in chemical applications and a 0% residue test result."
By implementing the retractable roof production system you have the ability to improve your return on investment by:
- Expanding Production Possibilities: Shift or extend your harvest season, produce more berries per plant, grow higher quality berries and expand your possible production locations to meet market demands
- Reducing Input Requirements: Reduce requirements for labor, fungicides and pesticides
- Reducing Risk: Protect crops from variable weather patterns and catastrophic storms
Strawberries in the Cravo Demonstration House and a conventional tunnel, Culiacan Mexico
Overview of 2015 trials at Sustainable Strawberry Project, United Kingdom
Strawberries in retractable roof house, discussion on trough spacing