The use of ethylene in greenhouse crop protection could be given a boost after the Dutch plant protection regulator CTGB authorized the use of ethylene gas, produced by the Restrain generator, to ripen tomatoes at the end of the cultivation period in The Netherlands last month.
This is the first time that such an application has been approved anywhere in the world, although the use of ethylene is now well established in potato and onion stores. Restrain supplies both the generator and sensor system which produces and monitors the ethylene gas. In turn, this influences the growth phase allowing growers to ripen and harvest fruit trusses later in the autumn. The company claims that the technique can increases end of year yields by up to 1.5 ripe trusses per plant while also reducing energy costs.
The company stresses: ‘Restrain is the only ethylene treatment for tomato ripening permitted in continental Europe. [This] approval is only for the Restrain generator. Ripening tomatoes with other ethylene systems, like gas bottles, etc., is still a criminal offence in The Netherlands and most other European countries.’
Further information at restrain.eu.com