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Australia: Student examines environmental impact of greenhouse growing

In collaboration with tomato growers, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture PhD student Dianfan Zhou is investigating the environmental impacts of greenhouse growing, as part of the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products.

“I’m researching the resources needed to build, maintain and run a greenhouse growing operation – including the water, nutrition and land usage, and the raw material needed for infrastructure and constructing the greenhouses,” Ms Zhou said.

“Greenhouse growing may help address consumer demand for consistently high quality and readily available produce, and my research will help the fruit and vegetable industry weigh up the pros and cons.”

Ms Zhou’s project is a collaboration with the world’s top university for agricultural studies, Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands, where she completed her Master’s degree in plant science.

“Because the climates of both Tasmania and the Netherlands are suited to greenhouse growing, Tasmanian greenhouse growers have adopted methods from the Netherlands, for example greenhouse design and structure, irrigation and crop management systems,” Ms Zhou said.

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