Controlled Environment Agriculture contributes to global food security in many ways. Besides the sustainable production of locally grown fresh produce, greenhouse environments are also very suitable to create and simulate growing climates for research and development practices of new improved varieties. Take for example this brand new R&D greenhouse of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Toluca, Mexico. Here, Ridder’s greenhouse technologies are used to find new wheat and maize varieties that boost production, prevent crop disease and improve smallholder farmers’ livelihood.
CIMMYT is an agriculture research and development program that is aimed at raising farm productivity in Mexico. Under the scientific leadership of Norman E. Borlaug, the program developed higher yielding wheat varieties that were more resistant to diseases and provided stable yields in changing conditions for developing countries. CIMMYT scientists have won many awards for their research and fieldwork, including the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and the World Food Prize in 2000 and 2014.
The new 2,5 hectare R&D greenhouse of CIMMYT in Toluca, Mexico was realized by our local partner and greenhouse provider Itolsa. The project is designed with flexible solutions to realize a number of growing climates that are exactly tailored to the various crops and phases of the research.
The Ridder HortiMaX-Go! climate control computer is the heart of the solution delivered by Itolsa. It provides CIMMYT with an adaptive automated control system with functionalities that are completely configured according to their specific needs. This smart solution allows them to control the climates and growing and irrigation strategies on the get-go with a very user-friendly mobile app.
The Ridder HortiMaX-Go! works seamlessly with the other Ridder solutions provided by Itolsa, such as the Ridder HortiJet fertigation system. This direct injection fertigation unit is a fully integrated solution to provide the crops with the right amount of water and nutrition at the right time, completely aligned with the climate and growing strategy.
Precise ventilation and screening
The polyethylene greenhouse structure is equipped with butterfly venting and a screening system in which Ridder Drive Systems are used to precisely influence the growing climate with the right ventilation and screening positions. These Drive Systems are also accurately controlled and positioned by the Ridder HortiMax-Go! control system. In this way, Itolsa provided CIMMYT with one total integrated system to realize the ideal cultivation circumstances inside the R&D greenhouses.