CULTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY New technology for distributing germination inhibitors A slowly-turning ventilator, which is placed behind the spray, ensures that the cloud of sprout inhibitor is distributed evenly in the storeroom. Hot Fog is robustly made with RVS metal parts and is easy to move. 700 tons at once go Compression pressure makes sure that the mixture is sprayed at a high speed of 700 kilometres/hour from the small opening of the spray nozzle. According to Besteman, this makes the mixing with the air in the storeroom 25 percent better than without heating. In addition, heating the air prevents the formation of sprout inhibitor crystals on and in the spray. Better evaporation in the storeroom Practical tests carried out by Belchim have shown that, in addition to a visible, even distribution, the Hot Fog Resonator LVM also has a good invisible result: no sprouts on the potatoes. What is particularly notable, according to Gijlers, is that this atomiser is also able to get the germination inhibitor right into the back of the storeroom. ‘Although we have only trialled once, we can already say that the new Besteman apparatus provides a better distribution through the potato store than the present atomising equipment. Measurements on the PCA scale show that sprout inhibition is the same throughout the entire storeroom.’ Harpe reckons that the user-friendliness of the apparatus is also an advantage for many potato growers. ‘Many growers contract this work out to contractors because it is not a very pleasant job. The Hot Fog has no user-disadvantages. The apparatus is easy to operate, has no starting problems, no noise pollution, and combustion gases are non-existent.’ According to Harpe, many growers who now have the job done by others will decide to start doing it themselves. The Both Harpe and Gijlers mention a third argument in favour of the Hot Fog and that is its large capacity. ‘With an atomiser, you can easily treat 700 tons of potatoes in one go. Moreover, at its highest mark, this atomiser can put 3 l of product per hour into a storeroom.’ According to the crop specialists, this is three times what current atomisers are capable of. According to Gijlers, this high speed is not only good for those using the apparatus, but also for the stored product. ‘The sooner you are finished with gassing, the sooner you can return to the set storage regime. As we know, the more time gassing takes, the more time it takes to restore the climate and product conditions in the storeroom. It also costs more energy and harms the quality and storage time of the potatoes’, Gijlers knows from experience. Quite expensive Although the Hot Fog Resonator has many advantages, the purchase price at 3,975 euros is not one of them. If you do not have a compressor, you will have to pay out even more. Given the price of the apparatus, the turning point for a profitable investment is around 1,000 tons of potatoes stored on the farm. Incidentally, there are already quite a number of growers in Europe who can do that, and their number is growing. So it seems likely that, despite the rather large investment costs, the new heat atomising equipment has every chance of success. ● Leo Hanse With an atomiser such as the Resonator, you can easily treat 700 tons of potatoes in one go. Potato World 2013 • number 1 27 Pagina 26

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