During the annual study day of the Netherlands Association Technique in Agriculture (NVTL) on 1 March 2011 researchers of Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, policy makers and suppliers presented various projects in which horticultural technique is making a contribution to more sustainable cultivation methods. Theme of the study day was ‘clean and efficient’.
Three years ago the then Ministers Cramer of VROM and Verburg of LNV and several parties from the agricultural sector signed the Covenant Clean and Efficient Agrosectors. Agreements about energy saving, use and production of sustainable energy, and greenhouse gas reduction are laid down in this covenant. On the basis of this the agricultural sector commits itself to an annual energy saving of two per cent, to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 30 per cent, and to use 20 per cent sustainable energy in 2020. This was the reason for the study association NVTL to choose the theme ‘clean and efficient’. Precision farming and animal husbandry were on the programme as well as a number of lectures about technique in horticulture.
SpearheadsThere are two spearheads in greenhouse horticulture as regards clean and efficient cultivation, i.e., energy and water. The presentations showed that new greenhouse concepts can contribute to considerable energy savings. The first results in the so-called VenlowEnergyGrenhouse, fitted with special double glazing, on the Innovation and Demo Centre are promising. High energy savings seem attainable. The experiences gained with the prototype of the FresnelGreenhouse gave reason to start a practical scale demonstration on the Innovation and Demo Centre in Bleiswijk. The first crop will soon be planted in the greenhouse. Suppliers of the AVAG have developed a new concept for the semi-closed greenhouse and hope to start an experiment soon.
In addition to energy saving, reduction of the emission of nutrients and crop protection products to water are important subjects for the years ahead. Utilisation of the right technique allows recirculation of water on the horticultural holding. The use of sensors allows a better match between water dose and crop demand.