Cravo Retractable Roof Production System (RRPS)™
The ability of retractable roof greenhouses to increase yields by optimising the growing environment and protect crops from excessive cold, heat, rain, hail and wind allows a grower to modify where they grow and how large of a production facility they need to meet their customer demands.
This provides growers the option to improve their balance sheet by lowering their overall investment by lowering land acquisition costs and reducing the overall investment on the greenhouse.
- UV and infrared blocking roof coverage
- Dropdown sidewalls
- Adjustable roofing synchronized with drive systems
- A-frame, X-frame and flat roof options
The World Leader in Retractable Roof Greenhouses/Shadehouseswww.cravo.com
Costs for power supply, backup power generation and electrical hook up of motors can be minimized since few motors are required to power the roofs. (One motor can power up to 0.5 hectare of an A frame style roof and 1 hectare of flat roof). The retractable roofs also allow you to build in warmer climate where heating systems will not be required.
Finally, it may not be necessary to install horizontal airflow fans to circulate the air since opening the walls and roofs allows the wind to circulate the air more effectively and economically than horizontal airflow fans. However, if the greenhouse roof is closed for long periods of time during the winter, then horizontal airflow fans may still be beneficial.
- Allow growers to increase plant density due to the higher light levels and better control over humidity. Also, plant density can be frequently increased by around 12% in the retractable roof compared to a tunnel due to the greater head clearance and distance between post lines.
- Increase the yield per plant due to the improved growing environment
- Extend the growing season since crops can be protected from the winter cold and the summer heat
- Potentially allow growers to increase the number of plantings to target the shoulder seasons
naturally irrigate your crops using rain that is free and has a low PH and salinity. The rain can also be used to clean off the leaves and help leach salt out of the soil media.
Supply produce when the prices are highest
The ability to open and close the roof provides growers with the ability to speed up or slow down production to allow the managers to time their peak production to the window when they can realize the highest prices. The best prices could be during the winter, being the first to market in the spring, being able to supply good quality through the heat of summer, or being able to supply product in the Autumn after the cold weather has limited the field production. It all depends on your crop and the market that you are competing in.
Reduce fertiliser usage
Reductions in fertiliser usage or improvements in fertiliser usage should be achieved regardless of whether your crops are normally grown outside or in a greenhouse. Fertiliser usage on outdoor crops can be improved since the roof can be closed during rainfall to prevent leaching of fertilisers. When compared to crops grown in traditional greenhouses, fertiliser application rates in retractable roofs can usually be lowered since retracting the roof increases transpiration levels to normal levels allowing plants to more easily absorb and distribute the nutrients that are available to the root system.
Reduce the risk of catastrophic loss
Retractable roof greenhouses can reduce the risk of catastrophic loss to the owner due to:
- Crop loss due to a major disease outbreak since plants grown in a retractable roof tend to be naturally healthier and conditions inside are generally not conducive to insect and disease reproduction.
- Crop loss resulting from losing a roof due to the wind since Cravo retractable roofs have never blown off even during cyclones with wind speeds up to 200kph (130mph).
- Structural damage during extreme weather conditions since the roof and walls can be automatically retracted in minutes.
- Fire, since the greenhouse roofs can be retracted during a fire which will limit the spread of fire.
Reduce or eliminate chemical fungicides, pesticides and growth regulators
The frequency of chemical usage can be significantly reduced when growing in a retractable roof greenhouse due to the improved growing conditions, increased plant health and reduced insect reproduction making it easier to utilize IPM protocols. If chemicals are required, the volume of chemicals applied in a retractable roof can be reduced compared to that in the open field by closing the roof and walls during the application to prevent wind drift. Growers using retractable roof greenhouses have experienced a:
- 50%-100% reduction in fungicide usage.
- 50%-100% reduction in growth regulator usage.
- 10% -100% reduction in pesticide usage.
- 50%-100% reductions in herbicide usage.
When calculating the total savings in reducing chemical usage, one must consider that in the retractable roof:
- Soap and garlic is frequently used for insect control.
- There is a reduced cost to purchase and apply the chemicals.
- There is a potential reduction in labour downtime due to re entry regulations.
- There is an increased life of the roof coverings since many chemicals used in greenhouses are harmful to polyethylene film coverings.