Recently, the soil-less “FUTAGROW” system won the Innovation Award at the GreenTech Tradeshow held in June this year at the RAI, Amsterdam. For the past three and a half years, Demokwekerij Westland has been using the ‘Futagrow’ system in its experimental cultivation program, improving and optimizing it to where we are today, a system which is profitable, and after some additional fine-tuning, ready to be used by the commercial grower.

Futagrow is an innovative and sustainable soil-less cultivation system, using oxygenated water with nutrients as a substrate.

The system offers the possibility of growing several crops per year on movable gutters. As a result, two continuous crop stages are present in the greenhouse. The plants first spend eight weeks on the upper gutter, where exposure to light is maximum. After that, the crops are placed on the lower gutter to be harvested later on, making room for new plants on the top gutter. The advantage of the absence of a substrate is that there is no plastic in the residual material, so it is well suited for the bio-based economy. Another advantage is market flexibly, as the 6 crops per year make it possible to rapidly switch variety, making it easy to meet the constantly changing market demand we see today.

The Futagrow system allows for a production increase of up to 23%, with a 25% lower carbon when compared to the conventional systems.

The investments for the Futagrow system is higher, due to differences in greenhouse structure as well as the watering and the cultivation system. Multiple crop cycles, make that plant costs are about 2 to 2.5 times higher than a conventional system.

Jiffy is participating in the project at the seedling stage. After germination in a mini Preforma plug, selected tomato plants are transplanted to a bigger Preforma plug, a Jiffy system called ‘Plug In Plug’ providing a uniform and strong tomato plant ready for entering the Futagrow system. The airy and high quality Preforma plug proved superior over other media in the Futagrow system. The relatively small Preforma plug in the gutter makes the system flexible and economical.

The FUTAGROW project has been initiated by Growers Association TTO. Project partners are; Metazet/FormFlex, Triomaas, Priva, Prominent, Demokwekerij Westland, Noordam Plants, Inno-Agro, RijkZwaan, Groen Agro Control, WUR, Jiffy, Hortilux Schréder, Lemnis and Van Iperen.

For more information
Jiffy Products International B.V.
T+ 31 168 41 35 00