Resilient plants and cultivation systems contribute to an agriculture and horticulture in which the use of crop protection products can be significantly reduced. Wageningen University & Research, commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), has made an inventory of innovative cultivation concepts that deserve further research to this end.
Of all 12 cultivation concepts studied for the greenhouse vegetable, pot plant, and cut flower sectors, cultivation concepts around increasing biodiversity in the greenhouse and the analysis of air and water for rapid detection were rated highest for their contribution to the goal of growing more resilient crops in 2030 and for their practical feasibility.
Overall, a sounding board group estimated the contribution of these
cultivation measures to reduce the use of crop protection products is highest, followed by technical measures and preventive measures.
What is striking, according to the researchers, is that the sounding board group (which includes representatives of industry organizations but no growers) expects little from utilizing the ecosystem outside the greenhouse. The effectiveness of such measures is insufficiently known because it is not clear to what extent pests or predators migrate from outside to inside.
The main barrier cited is the cost of implementation.
4. Cultivation from the ground, 3. Linear instead of circular cultivation, 1. Compartmentalising of cultivation, 6. Biodiversity around the greenhouse, 16. Inducing plant resistance, 23. Moment of reset, 5. Adding natural enemies, 2. Fully closed greenhouse, vertical..., 17. Controlling by climate, 14. Sensing techniques, AI and..., 21. Creation and active control of..., 7. Biodiversity in the greenhouse, 15. Analysis of air/water.
Scores for innovative growing concepts in greenhouse cultivation on their contribution to UP (blue) and feasibility (orange) (both scored out of 5). The scores are based on 3 to 6 responses, apart from the score for practical feasibility of the growing concept '4. Cultivation from the ground', which is based on only two responses (light color in figure)