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Frost control through microaspersion in blueberry plantations

The blueberry harvest season has started in the Southern Hemisphere, in Argentina and Chile, where an anti-frost system through microaspersion has been successfully tested.

It is a new method which is revolutionising the horticultural sector in the field of frost control and which is based on the use of microsprinklers with pulsators to make the plant wet. This pulsator is linked to a pressure-compensating dripping device and a high-flow rotating head which can release between 120 and 300 litres per hour, but which the pulsator reduces to 20 or 30 litres/hour, distributing water effectively between the plants in a very uniform manner.

The system is designed to keep frosts under control and protect the flowers, both during the flowering period as well as during the harvest, showing particular effectiveness with crops that are rich in leaves.

"While water is applied, the plants are at 0ºC, which creates a thin layer of ice that isolates them from outside temperatures (igloo effect)," said Carlos Arenes, one of the owners and distributors of the patent. "The latest tests made with blueberries resulted in a great success. The branches, leaves and flowers remained intact after the entire process."

The system was initially designed for tropical crops, such as avocado or mango, and for citrus, but now, given the positive results, it is being used on all kinds of stone fruits, berries and top fruits, as well as in greenhouses.

Recently, the system has been improved, making it possible to obtain the right drop size depending on the crop that is to be treated, and to prevent, among other things, the breakage of branches under the ice's weight.

Carlos Arenes affirms that it is the most affordable irrigation and frost control system in the market, taking into account that it saves up to 80% of the water, with a cost per hectare of around 15 Euro (20 dollars) with the equipment working for 10 hours and pieces which can be used indefinitely.

The system, which has been sold in the United States for 6 years, started being sold in Europe last year, with the opinions of those who have tested it being more than positive. "Normally, those who try it always come back for more. We always insist on clients testing the system first in a small orchard. Soon after, they call us again, asking us to install it in the entire plantation!" he affirms.

For more information:
Carlos Arenes
Control Heladas
T: +34 962530388
M:+34 629632886

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