Hygiene and resilience of rafts with a long lifespan are points of attention for, among others, vertical farmers of leafy greens and herbs. This market demand Meteor Systems definitely meets. The most striking thing about their products is that the rafts are not made of EPS, but of High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) manufactured by blow molding.
Bas Dirven from Meteor Systems: "HDPE blow molding rafts can carry a higher crop load than EPS rafts. You can imagine that when a lot of holes are filled and the EPS material soaks up water, it becomes more vulnerable and can easily break . This is a well-known problem of eps rafts. Our rafts aren't porous, so they don't fill up with water. Blow molding manufactured rafts are unbreakable regardless of the number of plant holes.”
Due to the high density of the material,, proper cleaning can be done quickly and easily. The pressure washer can simply be used to remove dirt. Bas indicates that this also makes it easy to remove plant diseases from previous cultivation rounds. “A clean start for the next cultivation is a good start.”
The HDPE floats are suitable for both cultivation tables and ponds
“HDPE has proven itself”
Since 2018 Meteor Systems has been producing HDPE rafts for cultivation or breeding on water. The rafts are designed for cultivating plants that are always at the same distance from the water with nutrients .
Bas: "These rafts have a good insulating capacity. During cultivation, HDPE rafts offer a better microclimate and higher yield compared to EPS rafts. They remain stable throughout their lifetime.”
In the meantime, time has not stood still and the rafts have been further developed in cooperation with professional growers. In addition to the rectangular rafts with plant holes, rafts with slits are now also emerging.
With both plant holes and with slits, the rectangular rafts are suitable for cultivation tables
The rafts with slits are well suited for high-density baby leaf mix crops with a density of 500 to 2,000 seeds per m2, but also for basil, dark basil, watercress, corn salad, spinach, arugula, beetroot, chicory, green leaf, cabbage, mizuna, culinary and medicinal herbs, and much more. This high-density growing area per m² can be further optimized by means of vertical farming.
Bas concludes: "This brings us to a total of 9 raft models for deep water culture or indoor facilities. Each model has its own advantages and specifications and at the moment new models are being tested.”
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