Plant Tape is a visionary and innovative company founded in Spain with technology that will revolutionize agriculture. Pioneering agricultural leader, Tanimura & Antle, acquired Plant Tape to expand its operations into North America. Tanimura & Antle will be conducting trials in North America through 2016, with full commercialization of the Plant Tape system coming in late 2016.
To provide an automated transplanting system that benefits agricultural production worldwide.
The Plant Tape automated transplanting system is ideal for agricultural producers aiming for increased efficiency and productivity in their operations. The system is more efficient than the conventional transplanting methods using plugs and soil blocks. Plant Tape offers a fully integrated system from sowing the tape, to germination and nursery care, to transplanting in the field. Plant Tape is commercially used to plant lettuce, and the adaptability for other vegetable crops is currently being developed.
Plant Tape provides a greater density of plants per tray than the standard plug system, which maximizes efficiencies at all levels of an operation; germination, greenhouse, and transportation. Transplanting reduces seed costs and the automated transplanter minimizes the need for labor in the field.
Plants are germinated in the nursery under ideal conditions and then transplanted in the field at optimal spacing without causing damage to the plants or the planting beds. The result is a uniform and high quality crop.
Sowing in Plant Tape is done under dry conditions, so seeds will not germinate until water is introduced. Moreover, seedling plants can be transplanted at almost any stage of maturity, from a few days after germination to fully developed seedling plants. This provides tremendous flexibility with logistics and planting schedules.
Plant Tape utilizes less peat than conventional transplanting plugs, and all of the Plant Tape materials are biodegradable. There are also water conservation advantages with less irrigation needed in the field.
Plant Tape uses a growing medium which consists of a mixture of peat and vermiculite. The growing medium is sandwiched between two layers of biodegradable tissue. This "sandwich" is produced on the Plant Tape sowing line after seeding and is then cut into individual tapes. The individual tapes are packed in zigzag formation into plastic trays designed for the system. Each tray typically contains about 45 meters of tape, equivalent to about 900 plants. The trays can be wetted right away to initiate the germination process, or they can be stored for germination at a later time. European tray dimensions are 40 cm x 80 cm to fit on a Euro pallet of 80 cm x 120 cm. After germination the seedlings develop normally in the plant pockets of the tape. The plants can be transplanted at any stage of development, from a few days after germination up to a full grown seedling plant. The standard chassis of the transplanting machine is a two meter chassis and can be equipped with up to eight planting modules. The trays are loaded onto the transplanting machine and the automated planting module pulls the tape from the tray, cuts the tape around each individual plant and accurately places the plant in the soil. An operator simply replaces the trays on the transplanter and guides the tape to the module.