1 October 2012
Model calculations for greenhouse vegetable cultivation show that the use of a screen outside the greenhouse results in a better greenhouse climate than the use of a screen inside. The loss of production due to screening seems relatively small.
The research from Wageningen University (WUR) in the Netherlands shows that there might be some advantages as well, such as preventing photo-inhibition and water stress in the plant. The application of a screen outside the greenhouse to reduce irradiance peaks in greenhouse vegetables, is a new concept that deserves a further analysis.
In the cultivation of vegetables a high light transmission of the greenhouse is emphasised in order to uitilise the sunlight efficiently in the dark winter period. During sunny periods on summer days, the plants might be exposed to too high irradiance levels. In the case study of the WUR it was investigated whether these peaks in irradiance can affect the plant negatively and whether removal of these irradiance peaks by screens can lead to improvement of production and product quality. Possibly, this is a new step in the concept of the next generation cultivation.
The research was funded by the Product Board of Horticulture and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and was carried out as part of the Innovation Programme Greenhouse as Energy Source.