HortAmericas recently announced a new partnership with Sudlac, a European-based shading products supplier.
The decision to partner with Sudlac was based on the company’s proven ideas and concepts to manage light and protect the greenhouse structure, says Chris Higgins, General Manager of HortAmericas.
“As a company, we spend a significant amount of our time managing light in greenhouses and other horticultural production facilities,” Higgins says. “This partnership gives us a chance to provide North American growers with a new tool to manage light.”
In the past, shading products were designed to reduce the amount of light when the sun was at its brightest.
“However, when we started talking to Sudlac, we weren’t only looking at shading products,” Higgins says. “We were also looking at tools that would complement our product range and allow growers to manipulate light quality as well as light intensity in the greenhouse. Sudlac’s product portfolio includes such products, and as a result has been enjoying growing success in Europe.”
Wide Range of Climates
The main shading products imported to North America from Sudlac are Eclipse LD, Optifuse, and Transpar. Eclipse LD is a removable shading agent that protects crops against excessive light and heat; Optifuse is a removable diffuse coating; and Transpar is a shading agent that reflects heat radiation.
“Our growers experience a vast variety of climate conditions and grow a wide variety of crops,” Higgins says. “These products are best suited to cover all possibilities.”
The customers also range from very large to small growers with high-value crops.
“We want all growers to be able to enhance their crops using shading products. Early interest has come from growers with high-value crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, leafy greens, and herbs, as well as ornamental potted crops,” Higgins says. “We are also hearing from growers with a wide variety of niche crops that range from general ag research to high-end medicinal and biopharmaceutical crops.”
Hort Americas introduced the first products to the North American market in the middle of 2017.
“We are still in the process of convincing growers that this technology is going to work, and we have had a huge amount of interest so far,” Higgins says. “We expect demand to take off when the shading season starts this year.”