Ensuring the best crop possible

2017 Ask the Experts Supplement - Ask the Experts: Shade Curtains

Mauricio Manotas, president of Ludvig Svensson’s American division, discusses the textile manufacturer’s latest offerings.

October 25, 2017

Photo courtesy of Ludvig Svensson

Ludvig Svensson is a textile manufacturer based in Sweden. In the 1970s, the company began offering greenhouse growers climate screens that control humidity, temperature and UV requirements to ensure the best crop possible. Greenhouse Management caught up with Mauricio Manotas, president of Ludvig Svensson’s American division, before he departed for the Canadian Greenhouse Conference.

Greenhouse Management: What are some of the new innovations in screening?

Mauricio Manotas: We have three new products that we’re very excited about. The first is called Luxous 1147 FR, which we are introducing in Canada at the show. It’s an energy-saving screen with the highest light transmission possible. It only shades 11 percent of the light, so you are getting 89 percent of the light coming to your plant.

GM: What kind of growers would benefit from Luxous 1147 FR?

MM: It’s especially valuable for vegetable growers in colder climates. In the spring, you can leave the screen closed until 11 [a.m.] or 12 [p.m.] so you get both the heat and the light. That way, you can get your crop to market sooner. It’s the highest level of light transmission available — there’s nothing else on the market close to that level.

GM: What do you offer in diffusion screens?

MM: Our Harmony line of products is perfect for flowers and crops such as lettuce, where the crop needs light at the top and bottom of the plant.

GM: Why is that important?

MM: Greenhouses have columns, hooks, lines and all kinds of objects that cast shadows. That can cause uneven growth. And the top part of the plant can shade the bottom. What we’re trying to do is even up the light. With high-grade light diffusion, growers get healthier plants and faster production.

GM: What is the third product that Ludvig Svensson is excited about?

MM: There’s lots of innovations in blackouts with our Obscura line. The major issue is humidity. When you use plastic or tarps for blackout, the humidity builds up and you basically have a shower in the greenhouse every night. That can cause massive issues for fungus and diseases such as botrytis. We optimize the humidity by having as much water pass through the blackout screen as possible.

GM: Are there any major concerns in the greenhouse industry that Ludvig Svensson addresses?

MM: All of our products are fire-rated. We are sticklers about that. We meet all of the fire tests in both the United States and Canada. A lot of Asian products don’t pass the tests. We offer both flame-retardant and firebreak screen ranges.

GM: Is fire that big of an issue?

MM: Although you might not see it in the nightly news, it’s a big issue in the greenhouse industry. Every year, three or four big fires happen. One of our clients, Bell Nursery, had a fire this past summer. They told us that if they didn’t have our firebreak products, they would have lost acres and acres. Instead, the fire was contained. — Interviewed by Helen M. Stone