Replacing methyl bromide is one of the most urgent challenges facing California too, in particular for strawberry growers. MSD GmbH’s international representative in the United States, Dutch firm Marten Barel Consultancy BV, started operations at the end of May with a large-scale facility in California using a MSD Steam Boiler, model S 2000.
The energy-saving sandwich-type steam procedure is used for strawberry cultivation. Two 24m² sized spike steam hoods on a hydraulic undercarriage on rollers are alternately moved on one tracked vehicle respectively. 17 cm long spikes mounted under the hood heat the ground to over 80° C to a depth of 25 cm. As the soil is sandy, steaming time is around 7 minutes.
The steam system put into operation with two spike hoods and the MSD Steam Boiler S 2000 currently has a daily capacity for total sterilisation of approx. 2,500 m² ground for strawberry cultivation, freeing the soil of weeds, diseases and soil fatigue. In a second phase beginning in 2017, the 1,500 hectare-sized horticultural business in California plans to invest in another steaming system capable of steaming more than 1 ha cultivated area per day.