The Société Coopérative Agricole OCEANE, founded in 1993, produces fresh vegetables for both the French market and export. It consists of 70 member market gardeners and generates a turnover of more than 150 million €, or 88.000 tonnes of fresh vegetables per year (tomatoes, cucumbers, lamb’s lettuce, radishes, leeks, etc.). A large part of these vegetables are produced in a greenhouse. In order to optimize production conditions and in particular to avoid heat and possible sun burn, producers use the technique of bleaching greenhouse covers. However, this practice is not without constraint.
• The cost for laundering and cleaning is high (0.40 € HT / m² / year).
• A helicopter needs to be used which is not always available at the right time because of the weather and the high demand from producers.
• The duration of bleaching greenhouse covers takes about 5 months.
• Significant waste is generated by cleaning, preventing the recovery of rainwater for irrigation (treatment, aeration, etc.).
In order to optimize these shade conditions and therefore better control the production conditions, the GAEC “Les Sables”, located in “La Planche” (department 44), uses the Clima + 65 Open screen.
The assembly was done by the company HORCONEX in 2016.
After 1 year of use, the findings are very positive:
• It allows flexible use of the shade screen with 1 semi-automatic opening and closing system.
• The significant benefit in energy saving allows a temperature difference of 5° to 6 ° during winter.
• Improvement of quality of the crop is measured: homogeneity, fewer damaged plants, less treatment because fewer diseases…
• There is profit on production volume due to an increase in the number of harvested crops.
• Harvesting personnel experience more comfort due to less condensation inside the greenhouse.
• Depreciation is possible between the 7th and 8th year.
The assessment regarding the use of heat shields is therefore very conclusive; the advantages are numerous. From a financial point of view, profitability should be effective after 7 to 8 years. Ideally, the lifespan of the diffusing film used on the cover should be equalized to about 12/13 years in order to be able to change the 2 products at the same time.