Growing Profits
January 2013


Reactions to retractable roof greenhouse... and North America's largest open-field tomato grower builds Cravo   


Seeing the opportunity for growth in protected agriculture, Lipman Produce recently installed two hectares of retractable roof Cravo greenhouses at its Naples, Florida, farming facility. Yet many growers have never been inside a retractable roof greenhouse. They have not felt the change in the growing environment nor seen how plants develop differently compared to conventional greenhouses or the open field.


In December, growers visited the 50 variety tomato trial at Hasel Tarim in Antalya Turkey during the Growtech trade show. Seasoned veterans commented that it was an eye opening experience to see how the tomato plants were developing in the retractable roof greenhouse, growing in the soil with no heating system and being located right beside a cotton field.




Top comments from visitors to Hasel Tarim 


1. "I have never seen a greenhouse like this before"- (Iran)

2. "It is hard to believe that there are virtually no losses due to virus even though there is a cotton field close to the greenhouse"- (Turkey)

3. "These tomatoes look like a greenhouse tomato but are firm like a field tomato"- (Turkey)

4. "I cannot believe that there is virtually no botrytis on the tomato plants"- (Turkey)

5. "How was it possible to get plants like that without a heating system?"- (Israel)

6. "Plants look very healthy" (Turkey)

7. "You can really allow the plants to benefit from the positives of the natural outdoors"- (Iran)

8. "I now understand how the retractable roof causes improvements in the plant's natural defence mechanisms" - (Pakistan)

9. "Wow... If I was not here, I never would have believed it" - (Turkey)


"Lipman Produce" North America's largest open field grower builds Cravo Retractable Roof greenhouse to maximize their crop production

Lipman Produce progressive hybrid growing system in Naples, Florida uses 2 hectares of Cravo retractable roof greenhousesLipman


North America's largest open-field tomato grower is starting to look at protected agriculture technologies to maximize their crop production. Lipman Produce recently installed two hectares of retractable roof Cravo greenhouses at its Naples, Florida, farming facility. The two hectares now under cover is still tiny compared to the thousands of hectares of open-field crops on the Lipman Farm, but the company sees an opportunity for growth in protected agriculture.   

"We are developing a sustainable, hybrid growing system to capture the best of both outdoor and protected agriculture," explained Gerry Odell, chief farming officer for Lipman Produce. "The retractable roof design makes it possible for our crops to grow under natural outdoor conditions, while protecting them from wind, cold, heat and rain. All of which furthers our ability to provide fresh produce to customers 365 days a year."   According to Lipman, by protecting their crops from harsh weather conditions, not only is the harvest season extended, but plant growth is also accelerated-which leads to a larger volume of quality tomatoes and vegetables.  

"It's the best of both growing methods-tomatoes have the cosmetic beauty of greenhouse-grown fruit ... with the firmness and taste of the open field," added Odell.   

Lipman says that the five acres of retractable greenhouse in Naples is just the beginning of their efforts to extend their growing season and expand their quality and volumes. This new growing system at Lipman is the first of its kind in Florida. They are currently growing three high-flavor tomato varieties in the retractable roof greenhouses: grape, heirloom and rounds.


Click here to learn more about Lipman Produce.


IPM EssenEssen, GermanyJan 21-25
Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable ConventionHershey, Penn., USJan 29-31
Fruit LogisticaBerlin, GermanyFeb 6-8
Expo Agro SinaloaCuliac´┐Żn, Sinaloa, MEXFeb 13-15
Mersin International Trade Mersin, TurkeyFeb 28-Mar 3
Undercover Farming Expo & ConferencePretoria, South AfricaMar 5-7


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