ENERGY SAVING THROUGH BREEDING FOR ADAPTATION TO GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION

E. BERNINGER, J. PHILOUZE
The problem of energy saving in greenhouses arose in horticultural countries when these crops reached a significant level, and also for economical and political reasons, 12 to 15 years ago ; the breeding of varieties adapted to the greenhouse climate however is much older and has a greater impact. Its results are very obvious : for instance, the cultural and varietal improvements of the Gerbera in the Netherlands have resulted in a really productive crop in winter for the last 20 years. The crop, which originally fell off during the dark months, is now well heated in winter. If this certainly did not save energy in absolute terms, it brought about an important crop increase in this country, thus giving a better ratio of the number or value of the flowers harvested to the energy spent. This is also the case for other crops.

The problems of crops used as leaves (such as lettuces and foliage plants) clearly differ from those used as flowers or fruits, and give an overall situation of increasing complexity.

Moreover, sexual or vegetative propagation of the varieties offers the breeder various possibilities.

Finally, the crop limiting climatic conditions vary from northern to southern Europe : in winter, in the North, light (quantity and daylenght) and heat are essentially lacking. In the South, heat lacks more than light ; notwithstanding, producers have ever more ambitious objectives : they grow more demanding species or varieties and want a more winter-orientated crop. In summer, the heat and drought excesses are more limiting in the southern greenhouses than elsewhere.

BERNINGER, E. and PHILOUZE, J. (1988). ENERGY SAVING THROUGH BREEDING FOR ADAPTATION TO GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 229, 31-38
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.229.3
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.229.3

Acta Horticulturae