Diffuse light shortens crop times, boosts quality

February 25, 2014
Written by AB Ludvig Svensson
Feb. 26, 2014, Wageningen, the Netherlands — In recent trials at the Netherlands’ Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, researchers found that producing pot plants under a light-diffusing screen shortens the production time by 25 per cent and results in better quality plants.

Anthurium pot plants produced in light-diffused greenhouses equipped with Svensson’s Harmony screens were ready for sale at 16 weeks compared to the normal 22 weeks, says Leo Marcelis, lead researcher of the WUR.
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Plants were also notably better quality.

The trials also included bromeliad varieties, with finished products ready two to four weeks early.

Researchers structured trials with anthuriums and bromeliads in separated greenhouses, each about 150 m2 (1,615 square feet).

The two greenhouses with Harmony light diffused screens had light treatments of 10 mol PAR/m2 per day and 7.5 mol PAR/m2 per day. Each was equipped with Svensson energy curtains, and misting systems provided relatively high humidity levels.


QUICKER TO MARKET, AND IMPROVED QUALITY


While Anthuriums are typically ready for sale at 22 weeks, the pot plants in the diffused-light greenhouses were ready at 16 weeks. In addition, quality was significantly improved, with plants in the 10 mol greenhouse 25 per cent heavier than typical.

Production of the bromeliad varieties ‘Guzmania’ and ‘Vriesea’ were sped up, with plants ready up to a month earlier than normal.

The results are clear.

“Allowing more light and while applying the light-diffusing Harmony shading screen, together with an adapted climate strategy, results in 25 per cent growth speedup and a higher quality of pot plants,” says Paul Arkesteijn, climate performance analyst with AB Ludvig Svensson.

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