Triple B - Dedicated substrate for Blueberry cultivation

The substrate provides a solution for changing water & fertilizers consumption during the different growing periods
Triple B - Dedicated substrate for Blueberry cultivation


In recent years we've seen a significant global increase in blueberry consumption and accordingly, expanded growing acreage and investment in this crop. The U.S. leads production for domestic use, but we see concomitantly notable increase in crop growing areas  in all contents, which indicates growing demand for blueberries consumption year round .

Pelemix leads internationally in production and marketing of quality coir growing substrates, produced at its facilities in Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

The company's leadership in the substrate area is based on its awareness of market developments, changes and also market demands for suitable new product development. This is especially important in an era of climate changes that require adaptation of growing technologies for a variety of products in the precision agriculture area.

I met with Eli Shalmon, Pelemix Director of marketing and commercial development, to hear from him about Triple B [3B] growing substrates, developed by the company especially for growing blueberries. Eli: "Ten years ago, to solve a large client's needs in Mexico (Zamora), we began developing a product appropriate for growing blueberries on detached substrate. The grower's land had "tired" out, and in some areas there was also soil disease and nematodes.

The challenge was great, since we had to meet the plant's growth requirements, such as substrate volume suitable for root area volume and spread, percentage of air in fully saturated substrate, seedling seasonality, and substrate durability for long-term growing. Furthermore, Eli notes, blueberries are a perennial crop that grows on the same bush over 7-8 years, so it's important that the substrate reflect capacity for preserving long-term physical uniformity. Additionally, we need to monitor as much as possible the environmental effects of weather, water quality, etc. Triple B [3B] is a product developed to answer these requirements."
The substrate is composed of three layers of coir in different combinations, packed in a compressed  format already in its growing bag, by adding water its  swells up to a volume of 27 or 25 liters [depending on the substrate composition and volume required].

The substrate's advantage is that it provides a solution for changing water & fertilizers consumption during the different growing periods: the substrate is produced by the company's machinery especially designed for this purpose,  that is suited to efficient production.

 


 

Another development process requirement was the need for quick drainage of remaining water and fertilizer after irrigation – most blueberry varieties are sensitive to excess water around the root zone. The multi-layered substrate's lower part prevents accumulation of excess water at the roots, thus providing a solution for the plant's requirements. The growing bag comes with built-in drain openings. As Eli says, "Plant and grow!" The bag withstands UV rays and also chemicals. The client receives at least a 5 years product warranty. In practice, we have bags in use for 8 years without problems.

Turning to production capabilities and adaptation to growing and environmental demands, Pelemix is capable of providing agronomic backup to customers. Before and after planting in the substrate, the company's agronomy department provides answers regarding irrigation and fertilization, adaptation to growing conditions, and relevant fertilizers in the territory.


 

But Pelemix won't rest on its laurels, and has recently begun to market Triple B [3B] substrate in a new format for Figs growers on detached substrates as new growing technology. They are also experimenting to adapt the substrate for Planters of Avocado growers.
Eli: "For Figs we supply substrates for "Low  varieties" grown in high growing tunnels and adapted for intensive cultivation. This growing technique requires more attention, but results in more fruit, higher quality in terms of solidity, sweetness/sourness, fruit size and shelf-life. All these parameters are controlled by working with substrates, and are actually managed like an industrialized, intensive crop in every sense. Mexico already has commercial areas for Figs [Higo] growing with our substrates.

 

 

Avocado is still in commercial trials that we hope to complete by the second half of 2020."       
Pelemix's international marketing distribution, through subsidiaries, distributors or local agents, enables the company to reach nearly everywhere, to know clients and their professional needs, and also to stay in touch with ongoing developments. Currently, Pelemix manufactures several million product of 3B units, marketed to blueberry growers in large projects worldwide – Mexico, western U.S., Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Peru, Chile and even China for the past two years. Eli adds, "Everything is self-produced under our supervision."

Eli sums up, "Pelemix's uniqueness, beyond the product itself and its production capabilities, is knowledge. We are able to give the grower, should he request it, advice on the growing process from the planning stage, matching the product to climate conditions, different varieties and water quality. This enables us to provide clients with a precision product, by region and by crop. Everything is based on the company's extensive experience and knowledge, accumulated during many years of activity in different world regions, and its ability to produce various mixes that can be adapted to climate type, water quality, control capacity and the grower's cultivation technology .our new 2020 slogan reflects this strategy:

Pelemix - We know how !

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