Innovation 28 May 2014

Expansion within innovation

In order to increase our possibilities for development and innovation, we expanded our greenhouse complex in the village of Metslawier with 0.5 hectare. We specifically aim at sustainable cropping in the new section of the greenhouse and use the latest technology. For example, indoor climatic conditions can be controlled to lengthen the growing season, thus doubling our cropping potential per square metre. A few innovations:

An innovative heating system with stored heat from aquifers heats the greenhouse whenever necessary. The heat source is filled with surplus warmth from the greenhouse in summer. This warmth can be used whenever necessary with the help of a heat pump.

The floor consists of an ebb and flood lava floor, which is used to provide plants with water and special nutrient combinations. All surplus fluids and nutrients are led back to drain tanks and can be reused.

Rainwater is used for irrigation. All fluids are disinfected with a high-pressure UV before they are used on plants; this is an environmentally-friendly and highly-effective disinfection method.

Special micro-drip top irrigation provides gentle irrigation, which can regulate the humidity in the greenhouse. A semi-automatic spray boom is deployed for crop protection, targeted irrigation and foliar fertilisation.

A newly-developed transplant belt is utilised to transplant and set aside over 40,000 plants a day with a minimum workforce. The tubers are harvested with a similar speed.

The plants' growth and health are sensor monitored. These sensors will be linked to the climate computer in future, whereby the condition of the plants has an immediate influence on the climate in the greenhouse.