The emission issue took central stage during the national chrysanthemum day at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. Some ninety chrysanthemum growers were informed about new cultivation systems that should contribute to restriction of the emission of crop protection products and nutrients. The idea that chrysanthemum cultivation should change is catching on.
Chrysanthemum is the largest soil-grown ornamental crop. Prevention of pests and diseases is a large problem in this crop, on the one hand due to ever fewer crop protection products being available and on the other hand because the emission of these products to surface water should be reduced to zero. And nutrient leaching should be reduced to zero as well.
Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture is therefore conducting research into new cultivation systems for chrysanthemum. Development of a new - economically profitable and environmentally sound – cultivation method is no easy task. Research into new systems for chrysanthemum cultivation has been running since the 1970’s. This has not yet led to a breakthrough. Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture is therefore approaching this question in a different way, based on the ‘systematic design’ method, a method commonly used in industry, including aviation and space industry.
“Earlier attempts for systems innovation in greenhouse horticulture have never led to large successes. The Denar greenhouse and the Mobysant project are the best known examples,” says researcher Tycho Vermeulen. “We are now using a different approach by step-wise working towards a solution, while gaining more and more information about possibilities and impossibilities. This enables to continually meet the objectives and requirements of commercial practice.”
Vermeulen has meanwhile investigated several cultivation systems for chrysanthemum in substrate and the first results are now becoming available. Cultivation in sand beds is offering the best perspectives in the short term. Cultivation on water systems needs further elaboration, especially as regards costs.
Chrysanthemum advisor René Corsten of DLV Plant stressed the importance of the research carried out by Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture: “A solution must be found for the emission issue. In ten years time soil cultivation must have been optimised or we will no longer be growing chrysanthemums in soil. The research by Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture is now putting down the foundation.”