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Tech Scan – Closed greenhouses
What is new this week?
In our recent survey a large number of respondents wanted to be kept informed regarding new technology developments within the horticulture industry. What is great about being linked to all the other greenhouse growing information sites is that you do come across remarkably interesting developments.
The first video below is about the capture of Co2 for closed greenhouse production. I thought closed greenhouse production was un-achievable in New Zealand, until recently. However, with the (correct) available technology and investment it is more than possible. With bio-security systems inability to stop pest incursions and the lack of tools to 100% effectively combat whitefly psyllids, thrips etc, a closed greenhouse, with an emergency venting system, is definitely looking more and more attractive as a solution – it just takes a business case to prove viability, and then the investment.
The world is moving forward with innovation in the greenhouse sector. The 20 plus year-old greenhouses, which I now classify as medium tech, are going to be useful for many years to come but for energy and labour hungry crops the writing is on the wall. Growers may well need to grow other less energy hungry crops in the future in these older structures. This is a plus because I do not foresee many of these structures becoming redundant anytime soon, they still have many good years in front of them, so if we can find economically viable alternative produce for these structures to grow it will benefit all. Once investment is made into a new tomato greenhouse for example, with all the latest technology the cost per unit of produce could be significantly less than our current systems. I may be wrong, we could be growing in the same systems in 20 years’ time, but I suspect not.
The last of the videos below is brilliant at showing how to quickly and effectively spread beneficial insects over a large area. Even if a closed greenhouse system were established, we would still require beneficial predators, the likelihood is beneficial insects would have a far greater chance of year-round control if we were able to prevent large swathes of unwanted pests entering our roof venting systems.