The application of Next Generation Growing (NGG) principles in the Netherlands is fairly widespread due to the success of Dutch grower pioneers. They have achieved impressive energy savings without huge investments and without loss of production or an increase in disease.
However, the success of the Dutch growers is due to the considerable technical support and training that LTO Glaskracht provided. Make no mistake, successful implementation of NGG requires a thorough understanding of the physics of the glasshouse environment. Furthermore, growers who follow the NGG principles often experience a period of initial discomfort, because implementing NGG typically involves accepting higher levels of humidity and temperature than they have been used to. Without proper support, growers experimenting with NGG techniques for the first time can become discouraged quite early on.
NGG is causing a stir in the UK too, because no progressive grower can afford to be left behind when it comes to reducing the cost of energy. GrowSave has set up a UK based NGG support and knowledge transfer system to enable the UK greenhouse sector to benefit from the advances demonstrated by the implementation of NGG in the Netherlands.
Two NGG study groups have now been set up in the north and south of the UK to provide ongoing peer and expert support from Dutch specialists and FEC Energy consultants.
What will the study groups focus on?
There are seven key climate factors in the NGG concept:
- Aim for even temperature and humidity throughout the glasshouse, both horizontally and vertically
- Achieve better humidity control and understand the importance of absolute humidity
- Protect against rapid heat loss to clear skies because of long-wave radiation
- Maintain an active climate
- Use both leeside and wind-side ventilation
- Maximise photosynthesis
- Maintain the correct plant balance
The first meeting takes place in Autumn 2017 and you can follow the progress by keeping an eye out on the GrowSave website www.growsave.co.uk.