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Dutch Xenia pear grower Herman van Ingen:

"Not only frost, but combating Pseudomonas is the main reason for buying a mobile wind machine"

Modern fruit growers are well aware of increasingly extreme weather conditions. "The year is starting very warm, similar to 1990. That significantly increases the risk and duration of frost," begins Ernst Slabbekoorn from Swift International. This European company distributes mobile frost protection machines developed and produced in New Zealand. In the Netherlands, Swift International collaborates with service partner Zeelandtrac.

"Our mobile wind machine uses the Venturi effect to pull warm air down from the higher inversion layer, mixing it with the cold air at ground level. That happens after the machine's wind force breaks through the ground-level cold inversion. Hundreds of machines now operate worldwide, and users love their mobility, ease of use, and efficiency. It's simply the smartest solution against frost. The early spring means we produced extra machines, some of which are still available for immediate delivery. Nature is two to three weeks ahead of last year, and May 11th is still a long way off."

"Now, by late March, we've sold more machines than in the past three years combined. People use these mobile frost protection machines for various fruit types, including pears, kiwis, grapes, stone fruit, apples, and blueberries. We've delivered a significant number of impressive orders this year," says Ernst. Swift International expects new machine arrivals in the next two weeks, and both types of machines are still available.

Ernst also sees increasing demand from German-speaking regions. "We made good contacts at Fruit Logistica and Fruchtwelt Bodensee in Berlin and Friedrichshafen, respectively, and we got some nice orders in this relatively new market."

Swift International has delivered a series of machines for use in blueberry cultivation, particularly in plots with several Sekoya varieties. Two large orders are in the works.

What Xenia pear grower Herman van Ingen says
Frost protection is not the only reason growers consider buying mobile frost protection machines. Dutch fruit grower Herman van Ingen—also the chairman of the Xenia growers' association—invested in these mobile machines to prevent frost and the bacterial disease Pseudomonas. "It causes extensive damage, leading to blossom infections and die-offs," he says.

"The young Xenia pear trees are especially susceptible. Literature tells us this soil disease develops particularly well at temperatures of 0°C where there are puddles of water. Splashing spreads the bacteria over the trees. This wind machine will hopefully prevent the bacteria's spread, allowing for a good harvest."

The fruit grower chose to purchase the larger version, which should be more than sufficient to cover his 4.5-hectare plot. "For us, the certainty of a crop unaffected by Pseudomonas is the main reason for ordering this machine. It's a different consideration than most growers, who use it against frost. For severe frost, we don't necessarily need it in our region, as there's plenty of surface water available. But after another very wet winter, we're quite concerned about irrigating the crop, especially since that's not good for Pseudomonas," Herman concludes.

For more information:
Ernst Slabbekoorn
Swift International
+31 (0) 644 138 650 (WhatsApp)
[email protected]

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