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Ramat Negev R&D

Pepper growth in combined tunnels of insect proof net and plastic coverage in order to extend the growing season in Ramat Negev

Background:

Last year 50 dunams of pepper were grown in Ramat Negev for export and this season, due to the fact that pepper requires less manpower than tomatoes, the planted area will be doubled.

In the summer season in Ramat Negev, it is possible to plant earlier and consequently, harvest earlier.  In contrast to previous years, there is a growing demand for produce for export to the Eastern European countries, already from the month of September.

The typically cool nights in Ramat Negev in the summer season are optimal for pepper growing.  However,Although the days are warmer than necessary, particularly in the plastic covered greenhouses.  Therefore, it is proposed to grow peppers in tunnels with wide openings ( 10 meters ) that are covered with insect proof netting until October, enabling proper ventilation and preventing excessively high temperatures in Summer. When these decrease towards the end of October, the tunnels will be covered with plastic that will help keep the warmth inside when the daytime temperatures decrease.

Presently the farmers grow peppers in high, expensive structures which were previously used for tomato growing.  The possibility to grow peppers in portable tunnels is relatively cheaper than greenhouses, taking into account the yield and quality of peppers grown in these structures. The possibility to extend the season to 7 months will result in higher yields, by combining technology with the special climatic conditions of Ramat Negev.

Objectives

The main objectives of the project are:

  • Rapid development of growing areas in Ramat Negev for peppers for export by extending the growing season and receiving higher yields.

    a. obtaining high quality produce in the fall season by using net covering.

    b. Extending the marketing season from September to April with the intent of obtaining yields of 15 kg/square meter.
     

  • Testing the use of cheaper structures and testing the quality of the produce grown during the spring season, which typically has unstable temperatures that can cause cracks in the fruit.

  • The infrastructure that will be built for this experiment will be used in the future for additional experiments requiring the same infrastructure.

Contact:
Zion Shemer

050-3699850