Signify has provided a new greenhouse of over 4 hectares for lit cultivation using 100% LED at Dutchberries in Zuilichem (NL), in cooperation with HortiLED Partner Stolze, Maasdijk. It is the first strawberry grower with a full LED installation with the Philips GreenPower LED toplighting compact, supplying 196 µmol/s/m2. "The lighting installation was able to fully live up to the expectations during the first winter crop of Sonata," says satisfied grower Boudewijn van der Wal.
The new 4.2-hectare greenhouse was completed in the spring of 2020. This increased the company's total cultivation area to 34 hectares. After an unlit summer crop, Dutchberries planted for their first lit winter crop on September 23rd.
"Winter production is interesting for two reasons: our customers are positive about it and it is good for spreading the workload. Greenhouse strawberry cultivation is always busy in the spring and fall. We can still keep our people busy in the summer but work practically shuts down in winter. With an LED-lit crop, you can grow year-round and close the gap," says grower Boudewijn van der Wal.
To make the best possible choice, the entrepreneur sought the advice of colleagues, researchers, and suppliers. After extensive research, 100% LED emerged as the best option. In strawberry cultivation, it is important to be able to achieve low 24-hour temperatures at the right time. Cool nights and not too high daytime temperatures produce the sweetest fruits. Full LED is perfect because its low heat output makes it easier to achieve and maintain the desired climate. This allows you to grow delicious, sweet strawberries even in the middle of winter.
The Philips GreenPower LED toplighting compact from Signify appealed most to Dutchberries. "The specifications and quality of the lamps are top-notch and Signify is a reliable supplier with a high level of knowledge and service. You make such an investment for the long term and then it just has to be right," explains the grower.
Dutchberries opted for the toplighting compact with the deep-red/white/blue spectrum. This module has a light output of 2,150 µmol/s and uses 645W with an efficiency of 3.3 µmol/J. This module now even allows for a higher level of efficiency. The system delivers 196 µmol/m2/s, which is more than sufficient for a high-quality winter crop.
Van der Wal is pleased with his first crop grown under full LED. "The growth of the plants and the blossom went well. From early December to early February, we harvested 6 to 7 kg/m2 of excellent quality. Although Elsanta is our current main variety, we deliberately chose Sonata for this crop. The plants need to be cooled for longer after propagation and Sonata combines better plant shelf life with good fruit quality. In terms of cultivation results, the lighting installation fully lived up to expectations. That pleases both us and our customers."
With lighting that increases the availability and quality of food, we contribute to improved health and well-being, one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3). Our objective is to double the percentage of our revenue in this area to 32%. This ambition is a key component of our Brighter Lives, Better World 2025 program, which we launched in September 2020