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Haifa Fertigation Seminars, Spring 2013
Ronald Valke from Haifa North West Europed welcomed everybody at the research centre.
Wim Voogt, researcher Plant Nutrition, Soil, Water at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture.
Wim Voogt, researcher Plant Nutrition, Soil, Water at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture
Ronald Valke, product manager at Haifa.
The WUR complex has got 78 separate greenhouse compartiments
The group was split in two.
In the water-technical room, Voogt explained how the irrigation of all of the separate compartiments is managed.
The irrigation units are able to make separate nutrition mixes for each single greenhouse compartment. The compartment has got a small nutrition storage, but not a big storage like large scale commercial greenhouses have. Each mix is made on the demand coming from the crop/greenhouse and then directly send to the designated compartment.
At the entrance of the compartments is clearly subscribed what kind of trial is taking place.
Wim Voogt from Wageningen UR gave a brief introduction on the trial. Inside the trial setting there are 'artificial algae rivers'
The algae prefer a temperature of 35 degree Celsius. This could also make it attractive for greenhouse growers to combine the cultivation with common greenhouse crops, however both crops need a certain amount of light. This is a challenge at the moment, but researchers are in search of a solution for this.
The algae are being collected in the filter at the end of the circulation. The next step is the processing of the harvest; a very intensive costly operation that involves freeze-drying and centrifugation. This part of the whole process generates a high cost price, there for the produced algae at WUR disappear in the sink, for now.
Another problem is that the algae crop is very sensitive to stress situations due to climate and nutrition conditions. This results in the deposition of algae on the inside of the tube. Therefore the system has to run special cleaning programs, which also makes the cultivation time intensive.
The algae flow counter clockwise, starting below. Besides water pumps, their is also an an additional air pump connected in the circulation. The algae are being fertilized with air that is very rich in carbon dioxide. The algae need a lot of carbon dioxide to stimulate growth, just like a common greenhouse crop.
The microalgae are commercially marketed as food for farmed fish. These fish and the produced fish oil is well known for its omega-3 fatty acid content, the farmed fish don't actually produce omega-3s, instead accumulating their omega-3 reserves by consuming microalgae.
In this trial, that is being set up right now, the researchers are studying the possibilities of a biological balance in aquaponic cultivation.
Recent Philips trial with both LED and top and interlighting modules. The first result will be presented later this year, but according to researcher, so far the crop has kept with the other trials that have involved the use of techniques such as of diffuse glass, LED inter lighting and SON-t toplighting. However, still too early to draw conclusions.
© HortiDaily.com 2019
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