Argentina’s largest hydroponic greenhouse is located in Lima, in the province of Buenos Aires. The ADBlick Agro company has 1.44 hectares with 270,000 strawberry plants of the Albion, Monterrey, and San Andreas varieties, which will allow the company to offer a permanent supply that will amount to 300 tons per year.
To carry out this project, which required an investment of 1.5 million dollars, the company worked with New Growing System (NGS), a Spanish company dedicated exclusively to the development of new technologies for crop production. In addition, an advisory committee made up of INTA professionals has contributed its knowledge since the beginning of the project to fine-tune the substrate in which the strawberries grow.
The greenhouse has a meteorological station that allows automating the zenith opening that protects the greenhouse from possible storms or strong winds, and is a source of information for decision making: being able to instantaneously measure the temperature, humidity, radiation, wind direction, and speed can provide environmental traceability to plants.
An irrigation computer provides another important flow of information, such as the data related to pH, electrical conductivity, and nutrient consumption in each of the irrigations. All this information is saved and can be analyzed in real-time or later. This allows improving the crop’s management day by day and making decisions based on the results previously obtained under similar conditions.
According to ADBlick, this production system reduces the use of herbicides by up to 100%, the use of fungicides by 70%, the use of insecticides by 50%, and the use of fertilizers by 45%.
“This launch responds to a growing demand for fresher products. Due to their proximity to urban centers, hydroponic greenhouses can deliver higher quality merchandise with zero waste. The products may cost more, but their taste, health, and cleanliness are much better,” stated Federico Mouso, the head of ADBlick Hidroponia.
The company recently began marketing strawberries under the Zempre brand in numerous stores in the area and in some of the most important supermarket chains.