This is thanks to new system with specialised growing towers that will allow them to use vertical space as well as horizontal.
The towers are made up of modules, each with growing stations into which plugs are placed onto a hydroponic substrate. Irrigation is then passed through, with any excess water being recirculated.
“We have already seen yields increase by 2.5 times and these are set to improve further,” says Saturn Bioponics managing director Alex Fisher, who led the project. “Moreover, the system also helps producers make water and nutrient savings alongside significant reductions in use of fungicides”
“Our modules allow you to optimise the use of daylight so you can increase your yield per square metre,” explains Mr Fisher. “Moreover, operating costs are kept down too. “There are no mechanical moving parts that need energy to run, and labour costs are minimal as we have ensured that planting and picking is clean, quick and easy.”
He reports that the systems are easy to install in new or existing polytunnels, glasshouses and other covered areas.
“One of the benefits is that the towers are completely adaptable to the requirements of the particular crop and the operational environment; you can choose the height you want to go to and also the number of modules per square metre.
“We have done trials in glasshouses and polytunnels, with both showing cost-effective yields.”
He observes that the company already has a number of commercial growers and processors who are really pleased with the quality of crop and effectiveness of the system.
“They understand that making use of the vertical space available for growing is the best way forward for our industry; and this new growing system will make a significant contribution to their yield and profitability.”
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