Huelva strawberry producers have opted more and more for hydroponic cultivation in recent years in response to various factors, including the lack of labor and the optimization of resources. This expansion is noticeable in the fields and in the increase in demand for substrates from companies specialized in this type of agriculture, such as SP Soluciones Agricolas.
The company from Moguere has quadrupled its sales of coconut fiber bags for hydroponics between 2019 and 2020 and multiplied them by almost 6 times since 2018.
"Coconut fiber is extracted from the coconut shell. It is a short fiber that has a great capacity to retain water and has adequate drainage, preventing root rot. It is an optimal material," stated Mateo Aroca, technical manager of the company. The coconut is hydrated and processed in Spain, where it undergoes 3 consecutive screens to eliminate balls and impurities.
One of the main benefits of the hydrated coconut fiber substrate offered by SP Soluciones Agrícolas is that it works exclusively with the extra low conductivity coconut fiber reference (between 0.4 and 1 mS/cm and a 1: 1.5 l substrate-water ratio).
The substrate bags are also made of long-lasting plastic. “You can choose the number of planting holes with a pre-cut and you can customize the rows and number of holes. It can also be personalized in terms of color. However, producers in Huelva, for example, chose the color black to help warm them up sooner because of the light there is there, ” stated Aroca.
SP Soluciones Agricolas' compressed coconut fiber substrate is characterized by having an appropriate aging process (which lasts 9 to 18 months), a humidity percentage that never exceeds 20%, for a correct pressing, and strict control of its salt content.