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South Korean growers adapt The New Cultivation method

Horti-Consult International visited South Korea. "Using Bass Meijndert as a guide and Mr. Han hosting the trip, this could be called a successful mission," says Gilbert Heijens of the consulting agency. "We got a good impression of the country." 

Agriculture and horticulture are quite developed in this country. Main activity in South Korea is undoubtedly the growing of rice. In tunnels and greenhouses one can find strawberry crops (2000 ha), tomato (2500 ha), paprika and pepper (over 350 ha), and cucumber. 15% includes modern greenhouses. Many companies are relatively small in scope, ranging from a few square meters to several thousand hectares. The largest greenhouse in Korea is 8 ha. There is a growing trend towards larger and more modern businesses. The greenhouses are often constructed by Dutch greenhouse builders.

Heating is done primarily with electrical units, warming the air and blowing it into the tunnels through the hoses. The capacity is limited, a lot is fenced off with (dual) screens. Since gas costs are expensive and electricity cheap, growers often opt for heating via heat pumps. Greenhouses / tunnels are habitually kept closed. As one can see, the forerunners of the new cultivation are already to be found in this country.

In Korean horticulture, there are plenty of opportunities for growth and development to come in terms of scale and crop improvement. There is demand for more modern glasshouses and better cultivation systems. Horticulture is more represented in southern regions, but to the north there are large flat areas where modern greenhouse cultivation is possible, both in terms of infrastructure and construction capabilities.

In terms of industrial hygiene, there is still a lot of work to do. Sealing off greenhouses and tunnels is a must, better removal of waste from businesses, more disinfection and better (biological) control of pests and diseases are necessary. Switching to substrate is recommended. Investing in better and lighter greenhouses will certainly lead to significant increases in production.

Team Horti-Consult International B.V.

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