CO2 supply in a greenhouse promotes crop growth. In the future the supply of CO2 has to be reduced considerably because the availability of CO2 from industry will be reduced due to CO2 emission goals, the use of natural gas for heating is reduced, and the greenhouse horticultural sector has the goal to reduce CO2 emissions. There is little practical experience on the effects of a considerable reduction in CO2 supply on crop yield and quality.
Therefore, Wageningen University & Research, business unit Greenhouse Horticulture started a demonstration trial with a tomato crop in December 2019 to study the effects of reduced CO2 supply on crop yield and quality.
The research goal is to decrease the loss of CO2 due to ventilation, and to create a crop that is adapting to lower CO2 concentrations, resulting in a greenhouse system with a higher efficiency in CO2 utilization. The annual amount of CO2 supplied will be comparable to commercial practice, and amounts that are half or a quarter of this figure. Each of these treatments will be applied in one compartment. CO2 will be supplied as efficiently as possible, and all CO2 fluxes will be monitored and modelled.
Crop and climate management will be according to the new way of growing (HNT). Production and fruit quality will be measured, as well as leaf photosynthesis and its possible adaptations. Differences between treatments will be expected especially in summer, when CO2-application will be reduced at higher roof vents openings.
This project is funded by Glastuinbouw Nederland and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality via the research programme Greenhouse as Energy source (Kas als Energiebron).