Growers of hyacinth bulbs are faced with a more limited range of crop protection products. In order to guarantee good quality in the future, they are looking for alternatives, such as protecting the starting material and growing disease-free in a greenhouse. Diseases and pests then have less chance. But this new way of growing has business economic consequences. The Greenhouse Horticulture and Flowerbulb Business Unit of Wageningen University & Research has developed a user-friendly calculation module that growers can use to calculate this themselves.
Hyacinth bulbs are still grown in the open air, in the open ground. That is cheaper than a greenhouse. But growing in a greenhouse is faster, and there is less chance of diseases and pests, so less money has to be spent on crop protection products. Above that, less bulbs die. If tissue culture is used at the start of a cultivation, these effects are further enhanced, it is expected. WUR is currently investigating the possibilities of growing starting material and planting material in a greenhouse.
The number of possible variables is large. That is why, as part of its research into greenhouse cultivation, WUR has developed a calculation model in which production and the economic consequences can be simulated. This calculation model is built into an Excel file. Hyacinth growers will be testing this shortly. They only have to fill in a few details and make a few choices: Excel then calculates how the cost price will develop.
Growers can therefore use the Excel file to see the economic consequences of investing in a greenhouse with additional lighting and of working with tissue culture.