In addition to watering wagons and watering lorries, the FTNON Dofra b.v. range of automatic mushroom watering systems includes two different systems: a pipe system and a lorry system. The pipe system consists of pipes which are attached to the growing bed. It has no moving parts and you can easily install it yourself. In the lorry system, the mushrooms are watered by a spray unit which moves backwards and forwards along the beds.
The lorry system has a number of advantages over the pipe system. Water distribution across the bed is always more uniform with a lorry system than with a pipe system. And a lorry system delivers less water to the bed than a pipe system, making it much more economical to use. What’s more, no water is left in the pipes, which reduces the risk of disease outbreaks such as legionella.
On the other hand, the pipe system is cheaper than the lorry system, particularly for farms with short growing rooms or just a few tiers of growing beds. You can easily install the pipe system yourself.
Both the pipe system and the lorry system can be supplied with a fully automated control system. This allows automatic watering, watering of several rooms simultaneously, and central management of the watering cycles to be applied. The computer records all water applications in a downloadable log. Remote management of the computer and alerts to your mobile phone are available as an option.
The lorry-based watering system
The lorry-based watering system is the traditional watering system from Dofra Foodtec and is the most frequently installed watering system worldwide. It is ideal when mushrooms are grown in environments with a limited water retention capacity, in long growing rooms and in rooms with many tiers of growing beds. The system can be used on farms which use a shelving system and on farms that use mobile equipment such as crates and trays.
The Dofra Foodtec patented spray arms guarantee optimum water distribution across the growing bed. The cleverly designed nozzles ensure that both the top and sides of the bed are optimally watered, even when there is very little space between the beds or trays.
Any unexpected nozzle blockages can be detected by means of a simple visual inspection. And a quick visual inspection is all that’s needed to check that the spray pattern is correct.
The entire automatic lorry-based watering system is manufactured from high-quality materials such as nickel-plated brass and stainless steel which ensure that Dofra Foodtec watering systems have an extremely long service life.
The pipe watering system
The pipe watering system consists of pipes which are attached underneath the growing bed. The pipes are fitted with spray nozzles which have been specially developed for Dofra Foodtec to ensure that the spray pattern is as even and consistent as possible. Thanks to Dofra Foodtec’s Balanced Watering Technology®, all the nozzles start and stop spraying at the same time.
The pipes used by Dofra Foodtec are made from plastic and reinforced with aluminium. This prevents them from sagging and ensures that the spray pattern remains identical even after many years of use. All the spray nozzles deliver an uninterrupted 360° spray pattern and are fitted with valves to prevent dripping.
The ‘premium’ version of the pipe watering system has a control unit for each room in addition to a central computer – commands can therefore be entered both centrally and at room level. This version can detect leaks and blockages in the water supply and alert the user.
In addition to the ‘premium’ system, an ’economy’ version of the pipe watering system is also available. The ‘economy’ version is specifically designed for growers who only need basic management functionality. This system is just as durable as the ‘extended’ version but does not have the enhanced management functionality provided in the ‘premium’ version.
Manually operated watering systems
In addition to fully automatic watering systems, our portfolio also includes manually operated watering systems. The manually operated watering system from Dofra Foodtec is based on the same watering trees as the automatic watering system. However, the difference is that the watering trees are mounted in a trolley or spray wagon and the user has to move them along the beds.
The manual system is less accurate than the automatic system but enables the user to simplify manual watering considerably against a minimum investment. Furthermore, manually operated watering wagons and watering lorries significantly improve water distribution across the bed.
To make optimal use of the Dofra watering systems, a range of auxiliary equipment has been developed to provide a good water supply. Water tanks are available as fixed or mobile units. For fixed systems, the standard storage capacities are from 1100 to 4000 litres, other tank capacities are also possible. Frequency controlled multi-stage centrifugal pumps are usually supplied for the fixed system with capacities ranging from 100 to 500 litres per minute and a working pressure of 5 to 10 bar. The use of frequency controlled pumps limits energy consumption. Other types of pumps and capacities are also available. Mobile storage tanks are available in standard capacities of 200, 300, 800, 1000 and 1200 litres. The synthetic tank is mounted onto a fully galvanized frame with rigid wheel and castors so large volumes of water can be stored temporarily . Disinfectants can also be added if required. The mobile storage tanks can be supplied with various pump capacities.