Archive for the ‘Soil Fatigue’ Category

STEAMING TESTS FOR STRAWBERRY CULTIVATION IN THE KARLSRUHE DISTRICT SHOW IMPRESSIVE RESULTS

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Steaming tests for strawberry cultivation were held on 1.06.2016 and included a tour of inspection, offering consultancy from Karlsruhe district experts on horticulture, fruit and wine cultivation and providing results of tests carried out using soil steaming, outdoors and in tunnels. The event took place at the Böser strawberry and asparagus farm in Forst, Baden.

Steaming tests for strawberries near Karlsruhe

Steaming tests for strawberries near Karlsruhe

Steaming was carried out in summer 2015 by Mr. Steffen Koch from the company Mobildampf. The expert consultant from the Karlsruhe district, Mr. Arno Fried, carried out a steaming demonstration resulting in improvements of up to 500%.

Diagram showing results of steam treatment in strawberry cultivation

Diagram showing results of steam treatment in strawberry cultivation

Steam treatment is the ideal sanitation method for contaminated soils or grounds with a relatively high level of soil fatigue. You can obtain more details directly from Mr. Arno Fried: Contact

SOUTH AFRICA DISCOVERS THE EFFECT OF HOT STEAM AS SUBSTITUTION OF METHYL BROMIDE

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Timbali Technology Incubator is the first agriculture enterprise in South Africa which uses a steaming boiler (from MSD / Moeschle) to do completely without the harmful soil- chemical methyl bromide (MeBr) and to use hot steam to disinfect the soil and substrates for cultivation of new plants.

Methyl bromide is a smell-free and colour-free gas. It is used as a soil fumigant at agriculture, floriculture, horticulture and olericulture companies and also at the agriculture enterprise Timbali to control weeds and to eliminate soil-borne pests and pathogens.

Timbali Technology Incubator is the first agriculture enterprise in South Africa which uses a steaming boiler (from MSD / Moeschle) to do completely without the soil disinfecting chemical methyl bromide (MeBr) hazardous to health and harmful to the environment. Instead of it, for cultivation of new plants, the company uses hot steam to clean the soil and substrates from weeds, pathogens and pests.

Methyl bromide is a smell- and colour-free gas, which was also previously used as a soil fumigant against weeds, soil-borne pests and pathogens at Timbali, especially for cultivation of flowers and vegetables.

The use of methyl bromide had to expire till January 2005, because it enormously endangers the ozone layer of the stratosphere and is very risky for human health. However, in this respect, Africa still lags behind and was given a grace period for implementation of the MeBr prohibition till 2015. As soon as this period has elapsed, the use of this soil fumigant is also prohibited in Africa according to the Montreal Protocol.

Hood steaming at Timbali, South Africa

Hood steaming at Timbali, South Africa

Being the first company which uses a MSD steam boiler for sanitisation of soil in gardening, Timbali has demonstrated its pioneering spirit and is supported by its partner Eskom.

Mobile high-performance steaming boiler of MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany) using 200°C superheated steam

Mobile high-performance steaming boiler of MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany) using 200°C superheated steam

Some representatives of agriculture enterprises visited Timbali at 29th of August 2015 to see the new machine and the introduced steaming technology (mainly hood steaming). Mr Marten Barel, the expert in steaming technology, demonstrated this steaming boiler and explained all system advantages and functions to the visitors.

Now Timbali continues to make this technology public in South Africa and thereby supports the development of small agriculture business.

Video of introduction of the steaming technology at Timbali (click here)

Steam is also a hot thing for vine plants

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Last year the Service Center for Rural Areas (DLR) Rheinlandpfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) has steamed vineyards for the very first time, in order to research the effects of this soil sterilization method on young vine.

Recently the results were presented. It was shown, that steam significantly increases the growth of plant shoots:

Steaming significantly increases the growth of vine shoots (Source: DLR Rhineland-Palatinate, Schifferstadt)

Steaming significantly increases the growth of vine shoots (Source: DLR Rhineland-Palatinate, Schifferstadt)

It remains to be clarified, if hot steam significantly improves the sprouting of vine. In particular where soil is both highly contaminated with diseases (such as fungus, bacteria, nematodes) and highly affected by soil fatigue, steaming could be developed to a profitable sanitation method for vine nurseries.

Under the leadership of Matthias Zink the DLR in Schifferstadt started a research study together with the steaming specialist MSD (Möschle-Seifert-Dämpftechnik – Steaming Technology) this year. Results are expected next year.

Water Vapor against Soil Fatigue

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Conventional and intensive cultivation can hardly avoid soil fatigue. The regular usage of organic fertilizer, compost as well as the control of the soil’s pH-value can counteract soil fatigue, where regular crop rotation is not feasible.

After soil fatigue has occurred, steaming can be a proper means to establish a new equilibrium in the soil since steaming kills organisms which cause soil fatigue and degrades phytotoxic agents.

Soil Fatigue

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Soil fatigue in general describes all general growth constraints of cultivated plants after repeated cultivation on the same piece of land. In particular it characterizes the phenomenon that yields decrease gradually despite fertilization and other soil preparation efforts.

In particular soil fatigue occurs after long lasting cultivation of one crop at the same location. In general soil fatigue is limited to one plant family and appears in vegetable production as well as in horticulture and fruit growing. All other plants thrive whereas the desired plant which formerly grew well on that plot, hardly develops.
The reasons are manifold and not completely understood. Different processes between plants and soil are considered:

  1. Specific deprivation of nutrients (e.g. depletion of special micronutrients)
  2. Accumulation of pests in the soil
  3. Metabolic excretions of roots, which inhibit growth or attract vermin
  4. Decline of soil living species and as a result changes of soil quality
  5. Change of pH-value in soil

In general soil fatigue can be avoided by continuous crop rotation in proper order. Furthermore the regular application of organic fertilizers can antagonize the occurrence of soil fatigue.
In conventional horticulture with intensive soil usage that makes proper continuous crop rotation impossible, the fatigued soil can be either be disposed or reactivated by hot steam.