High Wire Cucumber
High wire cucumber offers greater room for growth with regards to the cultivation of cucumber that has stagnated with conventional cultivation techniques. Presently, the number has grown from 180 to an average of about 210 pieces, while there are companies that are already hitting 225 pieces per m². Sill, a few companies are targeting about 260 cucumbers per m² in a few years. This shows that high wire cucumber is the new means of improving cucumber yield globally.
High wire cucumbers produce very stable quality of the crops, and the number of acreage over the years has increased from 90 hectares to around 120 hectares. However even though there are many advantages from this new innovation, most cucumber farmers are still yet to embrace it because of the higher labor requirements of the crop, especially the need for more leaf cutting. While conventional growing techniques roughly take about 0.8 to 1.0 hours per m², high wire cucumber growing takes between 1.2 and 1.4 hours per m². In financial terms, at an hourly rate of € 16, this means a labor cost of € 14.40 per m² for typical cucumbers and € 20.80 per m² for high wire cucumbers, making a difference of more than € 6.50 per m². While most people are afraid of this cost differences, the reality is that this costs are compensated by the higher yields and stable quality.
Furthermore, by producing better quality cucumbers, high wire technique reduces costs by an additional € 1 to € 2 per m². Another advantage is the more stable production, which also results in smoother and more stable labor. Also, the plant cost per m² on high wire cucumber cultivation is about a dollar lower than with traditional planting, conversely though cultivating two rather than three plants per farming season raises the risk for the grower.
The latest varieties of high wire cucumbers have smaller, more compact leaves and shorter internodes, meaning that a farmer will have more plants in his/her garden per m², while also reducing labor costs by an average 5 to 10% and results in a better quality crop.
High wire cucumbers are more resistant to Botrytis and mildew, especially with the development of pesticides such as Luna Privilege, which has showed good results against Botrytis and will hopefully contribute to making high-wire cultivation even more interesting for cucumber growers.
Some farmers see conventional production of cucumbers gradually coming to a crescendo, with the introduction of high wire cucumbers. This is aided by the good testimonies and appraisals by farmers who have moved from the traditional methods to better yielding and more economical high wire methods. For example, a farmer who switched from traditional to high-wire said that moving from tradition to high wire cucumber cultivation was the best decision he took.
From the evidence above, we can conclude that high-wire cucumbers are the future. Therefore any grower who wants to have an improved yield at lower cost and lower overhead costs generally should embrace high wire cucumber cultivation.