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Haifa Blog

21Jul2019
Trip to Valais valley

I've just returned from a week visit to France and Switzerland.

During this week, I've met with Haifa France team of experts, visited distributors & growers and mainly heard stories about their success with Haifa water soluble fertilizers & CRF Multicote Agri. I traveled with Vincent Neymarc, Haifa France regional manager, to Valais Valley. 

The canton of Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, situated in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva. 

With its abundant sunshine and irrigation, the Valais, especially in the Rhône valley between Martigny and Sion, is noted for cultivating berries and other fruits and vegetables. The Valais also has the largest area of vineyards of any canton and the highest vineyard of central Europe, turns out that the people of the Valais have been making (and drinking) wine for centuries.

 

Nowadays, the vineyards of the Valais cover an area of 5,000 hectares, producing more than a third of the country’s total yield. The main wine producing area of the region extends in linear progression along the upper Rhone valley, from the town of Martigny in the French speaking lower part of the canton.

 

The wine industry of the canton is the largest in Switzerland. There are also a large number orchards in the area, and saffron is also gathered here.

In the Alps, agriculture is a characteristic form of land use which shapes the mountainous landscape in a unique way. One quarter of the Alps, 4.5 million ha, is potential agricultural land, composed of 83.3 % grassland, 12.6 % arable land, 3.2 % permanent crop and 0.8 % other cultivated land (CIPRA, 2001).

In the dry valley of Valais (Swiss Alps) hill irrigation for meadows, vineyards and orchards has a long tradition of more than 700 years.

Hill irrigation in the Swiss Alps has a long tradition, especially in the Rhone Valley (the Canton of Valais) where a network of more than 1400 km of channels was created. Until the 19th century, irrigation was generally limited to the meadows. In the 19th century, it was extended to vineyards and orchards. Since the first decades of the 20 th century, in relation to the decrease of mountain agriculture, irrigation has been in regression.

This place is is the ultimate place to use Haifa controlled release fertilizers, since A single pre-planting application of Multicote™ controlled release fertilizer (CRF) can fill a crop’s nutritional requirements throughout its growth season. Multicote™ products are designed to feed plants continuously, at maximum nutrient uptake efficiency. Multicote™ controlled release fertilizers save labor and application costs, enable application independent of the irrigation system, and require no sophisticated equipment.

Me and Vincent met Pascal Roduit Director of Agribort, Haifa Group distributor in Switzerland, for more than 25 years. Pascal took us to see his costumer vineyards which he treats around 15000 ha during the season. On our way to meet him we passed through beautiful orchards of apple and pears and also stoped by soft fruit greenhouse.

 

 

Photo credit: FLORIAN CELLA

Pascal explained us about his vineyard treatment that consists on applying treatmernt every single day at morning with the help of Air Glaciers helicopters.

The main benefit of the helicopter processing is the application control. It also relieves treating staff in the steep vineyards and the yield is covered 20 to 24 ha per hour.

In terms of the enviornment, there is less use of water  and a significant reduction in the doses of spreading materials compared to land applications (up to 30%).

Photo credit: FLORIAN CELLA

 

 

 

 

I was very much impressed and inspired from my visit to Pascal (Agribort), such distributor can be an inspiration to how we would like a distributor to be, mainly as an example to downstream concept.

 

 

 

 

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