This week, we visit the companies that exhibited at the ARRA™ Open Field Days in August and offer our raders a peek at some of their products for grape vines.
Wonderful Nurseries ship over 10 million vines annually and farm over 1,600 acres of mother block supplying more than 500 different varieties and 30 different rootstocks to growers worldwide. This includes a new 10-acre mother block dedicated to the ARRA program which will produce up to 1 million grape vines annually when in full production.
Regular exhibitors at the ARRA Open Field Days, Retilplast Srl produce specially designed polyethylene cover PolyFilm-Plus, that diffuses sunlight and allows the passage of beneficial UV-A and UV-B light, improving the overall quality of light reaching the grape vines.
Retilplast’s covers are currently under assessment at the ARD facilities in California, where promising results have been seen at the Giumarra-Arra-Retilplast Demonstration field. In the evaluation block, the ARRA varieties grow healthier and stronger under the Retilplast covers. Considering the long, hot summers of Bakersfield, it is amazing to discover how much these specialized covers benefit the grape vines.
For the 2019 season, Retilplast will be conducting trials on ARRA 29 in Puglia, Italy with the aim of improving vineyard protection against adverse weather conditions.
Pictured above, the new installation concept is designed to prevent direct and reflected light from reaching the grape vines, hence the vineyard will recieve diffused light via the PolyFilm-Plus covers.
In addition, ARRA 15 and Early Sweet are showing great results under Retilplast covers in Mexico, Brazil and North Africa, where the grape vines have been covered for more than three years.
North American Greenhouses
With fifteen years experience under their belt, North American Greenhouses, based in the US and Mexico, have installed more than 8,500 acres of protected agricultural projects such as greenhouses, nethouses and hoophouse tunnels for fruit and vegetable farmers.
For grape growers, the company’s specialized flat roof greenhouses offer versatility for early or late harvests, resulting in higher fruit quality, harvest uniformity and considerable water savings.
Chilean-based SmartPac company presented their innovative SO2 liners at the field days. The liners are an all-in-one product designed to replace the SO2 device, liners and absorbent pads.The SO2 liners are used to keep fruit fresh in transit and storage.
For a number of years, we have been using the SmartPac liners and this year ARD performed a cold storage evaluation between SmartPac liners and regular liners, the results of which were presented at the field day and can be seen in the pictures below.
With SmartPac liners every berry is exposed to a low but stable and even concentration of SO2 during storage time, drastically reducing the risk of bleaching due to high SO2 and also the risk of mold development due to absence of SO2 in some points of the box.
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