Harnessing Light: Optimize light interception by crop

Last week saw the last of a series of four seminars hosted by GreenQ in Bleiswijk, devoted to the measuring of crops in greenhouses. The event, coined “Collaborating on Skills”, was attended by about 30 growers and included lectures by several industry people.

The chairman of this fourth session, Egon Janssen of TNO, explained that the purpose of Collaborating on Skills is to get promising innovations to work in practice. He indicated that over the last few years a number of successful projects have been realized. Minimizing CO2 and applying diffuse glass and LEDs in Tomato are examples of this. 

Gert Jan Swinkels of Wageningen UR spoke on the measurement of light. He made the distinction between the measurement of light-emitting roof materials (diffuse glass) and the measurement of assimilation lighting. For both measurements, different measurement devices are used. Through the introduction of diffuse roof material, it is important to measure hemispherically. With the introduction of light with artificial lighting, there is an added dimension in the measurement. It has therefore become difficult to determine what to measure, horizontal, vertical, or far below the lamp?.

The next presentation was given by Anja Dieleman. She also works at Wageningen UR and lectured on the development of measuring photosynthesis. The measurement of the photosynthesis of a plant is one of the monitoring systems. In her lecture Anja delved into the relationship between chlorophyll fluorescence measurement and photosynthesis measurement. 

Dirk Toledo of ProgressControl in Waalwijk pitched the potential of multi-spectral techniques. He foresees good application of hyperspectral glasses. These glasses are developed in collaboration with House of Innovation.

After the break, two short presentations were held.
The first was by Egon Janssen of TNO. He indicated how TNO is working on the further development of light measurements and photosynthesis measurements. The second short presentation was by Jan-Kees Boerman of EMS. EMS is specialized in the construction of gas detectors. The MACView Greenhouse Gas Analyser is an extremely sensitive measuring device to monitor harmful gases in greenhouses. This instrument measures NO, NO2, CO, and C2H4 at a very low level.

As a final conclusion of the sessions, it may be said that much is still needed to arrive at an optimal measurement of crop production.

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