Tuesday 14th of November 2017 | Posted In: Energy saving, Use and Manage

Growers growing with a difference

On 7 November, GrowSave kicked off an exciting, new study group project, focusing on Next Generation Growing (NGG). The pilot programme aims to take NGG principles and techniques, which have been established in the Netherlands, and help a select group of UK growers implement them at their nurseries. The principles have been discussed in some depth in Energy News over the past year, but in brief, they are:

  1. Maintain an even temperature horizontally and vertically in your greenhouse
  2. Improve your humidity control, including accepting more moisture in the air
  3. Reduce the radiative cooling effect on the plants by shielding them from clear skies at night
  4. Keep an active climate by promoting good air movement
  5. Use both vent sides to minimise average vent position and allow venting above closed screens
  6. Maximise photosynthesis by reducing vents and improving CO2 uptake, misting rather than shading when conditions are too warm
  7. Keep the plant in balance: consider the ratio of light levels achieved to 24-hour air temperature

Some of these concepts may go against the conventional growing practice, but Dutch growers have already demonstrated their efficacy. Anecdotal evidence suggests significant energy savings are possible. In order for members of the study group to achieve these savings, some collaboration will be required. This will be facilitated through online data sharing, using the LetsGrow.com platform, and subsequent discussion between members of the group, NGG experts and consultants from FEC Energy.

The GrowSave Project is delivered by FEC Energy on behalf of the AHDB Horticulture— a levy-funded organisation that serves the commercial horticultural industry in England, Scotland and Wales.