Farmers are planting crops in areas with unsuitable weather, sometimes hit by extreme heat in summer and other times by cold snaps in winter, as the lack of profitability pushes us to take ever greater risks. Lemons in increasingly cold climates, avocados in areas with high risk of frost, or late tangerines in areas that are too cold, for example.
That is where our work comes in, which we are presenting at Fruit Attraction 2019. We develop climate control systems that are able to save lemons, avocados and late tangerines from a sudden frost with temperatures reaching -6 degrees without any damage. And on a 43-degree day that same system needs to be able to lower the temperature to 27 degrees to avoid stomatal closure and the loss of fruit to dehydration. Plus, all this needs to be achieved with a very low volume of water: 12,000 litres per hectare per hour at very low pressure, just 1 bar of opening pressure.
With our latest work on the climate control system we can also do winter air nutrition, since these crops need minimum temperatures to assimilate certain nutrients. We apply them through the leaves to avoid losing productivity, since the famous vecería or alternating harvests, in which an abundant harvest one year is followed by a poor harvest the next, is nothing more than a consequence of malnutrition and often occurs because crops are planted in unsuitable climates. For example: in our region the avocado typically suffers from alternating harvests, while in countries where the climate is milder in winter and the plant is well-nourished the harvests are much more consistent. To correct this we use weekly aerial applications through the climate control system. This substantially reduces the tendency towards alternating harvest quality.
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