E.A. van Os, R.P. van Zuijdam, A.T.M. Hendrix, V.J.M. Koch
To improve the efficiency of production and the labour conditions in greenhouses and to decrease environmental pollution, a transport system has been developed that performs harvesting, crop maintenance and application of pesticides at a central place. The main path in the greenhouse or the workshed could be this place with its optimum climatic conditions for the workers.

No pathways among the crop are necessary, resulting in an increased space utilization. All the rows are at the same spacing of 64 cm. In containers with substrate suspended from a movable conveyor belt, 24% extra plants were placed.

Watering the plants is carried out at a point at the row end from a small tube. Water falling beside the containers as well as the drainwater flowing out of the container is collected in troughs and is recirculated.

Preliminary experiments with tomatoes and sweet peppers have shown a slightly decreased yield per plant, but an increased yield per m2.

From economic calculations it appeared that annual costs are slightly higher, while investments were much higher compared to more traditional systems.

It should be considered that light interception, movements of the crop, training systems and root zone heating may influence both yield and costs. The system in its present state is most suitable for sweet peppers.

van Os, E.A., van Zuijdam, R.P., Hendrix, A.T.M. and Koch, V.J.M. (1993). A MOVING FRUIT VEGETABLE CROP. Acta Hortic. 342, 69-76
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.342.8
movable growing system, substrate, automation, labour conditions, economics

Acta Horticulturae