Cultivation without daylight

Chrysanthemum mother plants in climate cell

Following the persistent chrysanthemum thrips problem in the Netherlands, the ChrIP (Chrysantemum Innovation Programme), the National Chrysanthemum Crop Committee and breeders will perform a study on the cultivation of chrysanthemum mother plants in climate cells.

Chrysanthemum growers indicate that there are several problems in the cultivation of chrysanthemums. The presence of residue, which makes biologicals less effective and with delayed action, results in problems. Also the presence of thrips in the cuttings, coming from abroad and being accustomed to the local conditions, are mentioned.

The goal is to start a test before the end of this year. With the results, the production potential of chrysanthemum mother plants in Dutch climate cells will be assessed, what is the influence on the internal quality of the cutting and which range of cost is realistic, with or without the picking of cuttings.

At the end of the last century, the cutting production was moved from the Netherlands to Africa. There were two reasons for this. Firstly, climate conditions in Africa are better, especially the light conditions in winter, making the cutting stronger. Secondly, the cost of African-produced cuttings is lower due to cheap labor.

Vertical farming
In recent years, vertical farming and cultivation without daylight have seen a rapid development. There has been substantial progress in the field of LED lighting (grow light and steering light), control technology, sensors and insight into plant physiology.

If it would appear that, in terms of cultivation techniques and cost, it would be feasible to produce cuttings in the Netherlands, the development of automatic cutting picking and designing, good internal and external logistics will be the next step. This all would take several years.

Puzzle pieces
The cultivation of chrysanthemum mother plants in a climate cell in the Netherlands could provide a solution to the two above-mentioned reasons for the thrips problem. This could mean a paradigm shift. Also other pieces of the puzzle must fit, to really and completely end the thrips problem in chrysanthemum once and for all.

Source: LTO Glaskracht Nederland (Jan Barendse)

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