A whole year without plant protection products

A whole year without plant protection products

Several crops are grown in the demonstration Greenhouse 2030 with the support of the programme 'Kas als Energiebron' (Greenhouse as Source of Energy) The goal is emission-free cultivation: free of CO2 emission from fossil fuels (a fully electric greenhouse), free of water and fertilizer emissions and free of emissions from plant protection products.

That is, just as in commercial cultivation system, rather challenging. Pot Anthurium growers must control several thrips species, including the newcomer Thrips parvispinus (tobacco thrips). While the growers are experienced in dealing with the Western flower thrips, the Echinothrips and the anthurium thrips, the tobacco thrips disrupted the entire system, resulting in higher plant protection product use in the first half of 2021. In Greenhouse2030, we also had to apply corrective products several times during that period.

With an 'out-of-the-box' idea we introduced a miniscule Linyphiidae spider. The spiders have nested in various places in the plants, their very fine webs were also present in the flowers, between the spadix and the spathe. The webs are so fine that they only become visible after wetting it with a fine mist. These spiders quickly colonized the entire greenhouse feeding themselves with the fungus gnats and various flies that are always present in the greenhouses. In order to maintain this food source for the spiders, we have completely stopped adding nematodes to the substrate to control the fungus gnat population.

Continue reading.

Photo Courtesy of Wageningen University & Research



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