The fastest Ferrari will not run faster if the driver does not step on the accelerator or shift gears. This comparison can also be made with diffuse light, or diffuse coatings.
Only implementing diffuse light in the greenhouse is not enough to get the maximum out of the crop. According to Richard Hagedoorn, product specialist for chalk and screening products at Royal Brinkman, adjustments to the growing strategy are also required.
Diffuse light is dispersed in horizontal and vertical direction on the crop, making it better distributed. As a result, more leaf surface is illuminated. This results in more photosynthesis and that in turn leads to more growth and higher yield. Research from Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture shows that an increase in yield of five to ten percent is possible and that the quality of the crop can also be improved.
“In the Netherlands we have been thinking about 'diffuse' most part of the time, such as in cloudy, foggy or rainy weather. Diffuse coatings make a flexible solution. Not only in the Netherlands, where we only need three to four months of diffuse light, but also in countries where there are many crops that can benefit from diffuse coating,” says Hagedoorn.
The supplier sells diffuse coatings of Hermadix that can be used in three variants:
• D-FUSE: for crops that require as much grow light as possible, but also an optimal distribution of the grow light.
• D-FUSE Extra: for areas or crops that require a little more protection, so that combustion is prevented.
• D-GREE: in addition to diffusion/screening, it also reflects NIR radiation for greater heat reduction.
ADJUST THE GROWING STRATEGY
“If you want to take advantage of the benefits, you have to adjust the growing strategy," Hagedoorn emphasizes. “Of course it depends on the crop, but in general it is true that with diffuse coating you can tweak your windows, so that you can keep more CO2 in, which benefits the photosynthesis process. With better photosynthesis the plant will develop faster and the water supply (and possibly fertilizers as well) will have to be adjusted. Then you also return to that Ferrari; you will also have to refuel the tank after a good ride.”