More challenges for growers
Last week light levels were erratic with some fantastic days proceeded by very dull, wet and windy days. Some crop reports showed 25% less light compared to the previous week. The weather pattern is not uncommon for this time of the year but never the less it is extremely hard on older crops or crops with high fruit load. Sun is definitely a grower’s best friend; however, it is those pesky clouds which throw spanners into the works.
When the sun does burst through it is extreme and crops can flag very quickly, even if they have the best root system a sudden shock can cause plant stress. Even though I promote the use of both wind and lee vents equally it has become necessary, in certain situations to reduce wind side vent activity to maintain relative humidity and protect crops. The changing of seasons creates additional challenges with increased wind gusts, which again makes it difficult to liberally use the wind side vent. Personally, I like to ensure the wind side vent is active to allow good airflow patterns and distribute ambient Co2 evenly. This is especially important for growers that do not use supplementary Co2. My advice though is to protect the crop, it is a change of season so be mindful of your wind side vent settings/influences.
For glasshouse growers it is ideal to apply diffused products such as Redufuse or Redufuse IR. Growers that have access to roof sprayers, or able to justify a helicopter, to apply the products are reaping huge benefits from plant health and an increase in crop production. The issue is unless you have a custom-made sprayer, or are prepared to engage with a helicopter spraying contractor, it is perceived cost prohibitive to apply the products. I floated the idea of using drones for smaller growers but this idea is yet to come into fruition (to my disappointment as it is rather appealing). Smaller growers need a system that can spray their greenhouse safely and efficiently using a spray boom that is light and easily transferred from gutter to gutter. Temperatures are increasing and the weather more extreme, these products offer growers a huge opportunity to improve not just production but help maintain quality outcomes for their produce.
I have personally seen the huge benefits of using coatings such as Redufuse. I fully endorse the product and believe all growers could benefit from spreading light more evenly throughout their crops and if you use Redufuse IR you could also reduce heat radiation, by it bouncing back off from the glass or plastic greenhouse.
When it is time to remove the diffused coatings, you will require Reduclean to remove the coating in the Autumn. This has to be done. By doing this you also kill two birds with one stone, you remove the diffused coating and clean the glasshouse at the same time.
Cover image taken this week.