CULTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY New technology for distributing germination inhibitors The most-used method for preventing sprouting in consumption potatoes is still gassing. The heat atomising equipment with combustion engine used for this purpose is, however, not very user-friendly and the germination inhibitor is not always evenly distributed, is the experience of suppliers such as Agrifirm and Belchim. For this reason, they are jointly focusing on the use of improved equipment such as the recently-launched Hot Fog Resonator LVM of Besteman Techno Support from the Dutch village of Akersloot. The application and distribution of germination inhibitors such as Chloor-IPC could be much better than is currently the case, in the opinion of Bram Harpe, crop specialist at Agrifirm in the town of Meppel. So far, heat atomising equipment such as the Swingfog doesn’t always do the job it should, is what he says. Another problem with the use of these atomisers is that combustion gases are released. ‘These gases cause an increase in CO2 in the storage space.’ For Marnix Gijlers this is a well-known problem. He works for Belchim, manufacturer of Choor-IPC with the brand name NeoNet. ‘There are, indeed, a few problems with the use of heat atomisers. The release of combustion gases such as CO2 cause the frying quality of crisp and chip potatoes to deteriorate. One solution, of course, is a ventilation system. In practice, it is evident that the CO2 content in the air never returns to the lower level that it had before the production of the gases. In many cases, the carbon dioxide in the storage accumulates a little after each application.’ Cold atomisation has its problems as well, according to the Belchim crop specialist. ‘The relatively-bigger particles make it more difficult to distribute the sprout inhibitor in the storehouse. Depending on the air distribution, less germination inhibitor reaches the back of the storeroom than the front.’ Low Volume Mist fine atomiser Another disadvantage of the heat atomiser with combustion engine is the poor user-friendliness, Harpe knows from experience. ‘The person having to use the equipment will often come into contact with the harmful vapours of the combustion gases, despite the use of protective measures. In addition, the equipment also often has technical trouble such as difficulty starting when it is very cold and blockage of the spray nozzle due to the germination inhibitor chrystallising at low temperatures.’ The Hot Fog Resonator LVM does not have the disadvantages that Harpe and Gijlers mentioned about already existing equipment, Besteman shows in a potato store. Potato World 2013 • number 1 25 Pagina 24

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