Cravo retractable roof technology adopted
The first Cravo Retractable Roof house from Canada is now on its way to a prominent New Zealand grower.
The 3ha house will allow the grower to utilize the “Retractable Roof Production System”™ (RRPS) to advance flowering to target earlier production and increase yields during the higher market price window. In addition, the house will guarantee a bountiful harvest by automatically protecting the crop against wind, hail, rain and extreme temperatures.
Cravo is the creator of retractable roof greenhouses and cooling houses, as well as automated retractable field and orchard covers. It has more than 35 years of experience spanning six continents with millions of square meters in operation. Cravo houses have proven to be resilient. They have withstood 10 hurricanes and two cyclones over the years without a single roof covering blowing off or structure being lost.
To ensure that users of Cravo technology maximize their financial returns, the worldwide business development team are horticulturists who have been trained to analyse the company’s goals, market pricing, climate conditions, current practices and production challenges, so that an innovative production system can be created. This system increases yields, improves quality and extends or shifts production to hit the high price windows while minimizing the cost of production. New users of Cravo technology for vegetables can be trained at Cravo’s demonstration and training centre in Mexico and construction has recently started on a demonstration house for berries.
While the first Cravo house was installed in Australia over 19 years ago, Australian commercial growers rapidly embraced Cravo Retractable
Roof Production Systems when Bede Miller joined Cravo. The technology now covers tomatoes, capsicum, (both hydroponic and soil grown), young plants, pot and tree nurseries, leafy greens (hydroponic lettuce, herbs and field grown baby leaf), and cherries. Pending projects are in organic vegetable production and blueberries and strawberries.
A recent example of the benefit that a Cravo retractable roof greenhouse can offer was witnessed in the Australian horticulture region of Bundaberg in March this year when Cyclone Debbie devastated field crops.
However, local Bundaberg producer Young Sang invested in four hectares of Cravo X Frame in 2015 to protect its field tomato crop. Young Sang’s Cravo house enabled the company to guarantee the supply of unblemished high-quality fruit. In turn it capitilised on high market prices due to shortages created by the cyclone.
General manager Daniel Scavo says:
"Investing in our Cravo house has given us peace of mind and reliable production outcomes even through this year’s disastrous field season in Bundaberg. We are impressed with the production system and feel very safe knowing that our crop is protected even through a cyclone. These results have reinforced our decision to continue to invest in Cravo technology.”
The rapid increase in Cravo installations, and new business opportunities in Australia and New Zealand, created the need for additional support resulting in Andrew Harford joining Cravo in May. Andrew is originally from Christchurch and has a strong background in crop production. He managed lettuce operations in New Zealand and Australia and recently worked at Powerplants where he was responsible for automation systems.
“Cravo are the world leaders in Retractable Roof technology and have been for over 35 years. We have been manufacturing and refining the Retractable Roof Production System (RRPS) where we have developed four house models that offer growers a reliable, robust production system tailored to specific crop and market requirements. We firmly believe that there are solid opportunities for New Zealand fruit and vegetable growers to achieve higher yields, improved quality and consistency while achieving a better bottom line.” Bede Miller, Grower Support, Cravo.
The technology now covers tomatoes, capsicum, (both hydroponic and soil grown), young plants, pot and tree nurseries, leafy greens (hydroponic lettuce, herbs and field grown baby leaf), and cherries.