Archive for August, 2015

KARLSRUHE AGRICULTURAL OFFICE STEAMS STRAWBERRY FIELDS

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

The solution to soil-borne problems most primarily with diseases is becoming particularly more urgent for cultivated areas for strawberries. In order to take new routes without chemistry, Karlsruhe Agricultural Office thus decided upon appropriate test areas for sanitising soil using superheated steam to grow strawberries.

The first surfaces were already steamed in May for this purpose. Steam specialist, Mobildampf, carried out the first tests using their own equipment.  The most up-to-date soil steamers come exclusively from the company MSD GmbH with an efficiency of up to 96% when used.

Sheet steaming on strawberry beds. In the front you see treated area which was steamed two months before.

Sheet steaming on strawberry beds. In the front you see treated area which was steamed two months before.

The surfaces were sanitised using the classic sheet steaming procedure. Overall, three 1,000m² sections were sanitised up to and into August using superheated steam up to 20cm deep. It was performed on extremely sandy soil and even incorporated raised beds. The results were rather convincing. Very strong crops are shown in surfaces steamed in May in the foreground of the image shown above. The rows of plants have remained completely weed-free throughout the months. Using an energy efficient procedure, such as hood or sandwich-type steaming, the costs of heating oil can be reduced to around 0.3 euros per m². Steaming consequently lends itself ideally to the sanitisation of surfaces for cultivating strawberries and represents a genuine alternative.

ONE MORE STEAMING SYSTEM WITH SPIKED HOOD FOR SOUTH AFRICA

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

In the first half of this year, one of well-known floriculture farms near Johannesburg decided to use a new steaming system to treat soil with steam on its 40 hectares. This company was advised by a well-reputed expert Mr Marten Barel.

For many years the company has been using a stationary coal-fired steaming system. Now this system is completely revised and replaced by a mobile steaming system from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany). The new state-of-the-art liquid-fuel steam boiler generates superheated steam at almost 96% efficiency factor. Due to this fact alone, the energy consumption was reduced to 0.4 l heating oil per square metre.

Spiked steaming hood on rollers with hydraulic lifting device from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany)

Spiked steaming hood on rollers with hydraulic lifting device from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany)

In this method, the hot steam is transferred into the soil by a very efficient steaming system. In sandwich-type steaming, the steam is injected by a spiked hood both at the surface and to 25 cm depth at the same time. The hood is a custom product. It can be automatically lifted and lowered by a hydraulic system. The system is towed on wheels through the greenhouse with a winch. Moreover, the steam boiler is placed on a low running gear allowing reduction of the total height just to 1.8 m.

Video for illustration of the spiked steaming hood and its operating principle (click here)

High-performance steaming boiler from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany) with low running gear allowing reduction of the total height by more than 40 cm.

High-performance steaming boiler from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany) with low running gear allowing reduction of the total height by more than 40 cm.

During the steaming, a temperature of 80°C is achieved in about 6-7 minutes. Such temperature is enough to sanitize the soil and to eliminate pathogens and weeds.