M. Torrellas, A. Antón , J.I. Montero, E.J. Baeza, J.C. López , J.J. Pérez Parra
The objective of this study was to identify the main bottlenecks of tomato production in a multispan tunnel greenhouse in a Mediterranean climate. This study was carried out as part of the EUPHOROS project, which aims to develop sustainable greenhouse production systems with a reduction of external inputs yet with high productivity. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was the methodology used to evaluate the environmental impacts of the production system. The system boundary was defined from raw materials extraction to farm gate, including materials waste disposal. The production system was modelled considering the following stages: structure, auxiliary equipment, climate control system, fertilizers, pesticides and waste. Results from the environmental assessment indicate that the burdens are the structure, auxiliary equipment and fertilizers. The structure was a major burden due to the large amount of steel in the frame. The high contribution of the auxiliary equipment was due to the substrate (perlite) manufacture and electricity consumption by the irrigation system. Fertilizers use had major environmental impacts as a result of both manufacturing processes and emissions because of their use. The main recommendations are oriented to reducing these impacts. Extension of greenhouse life span and increase in produc¬tivity could directly mitigate burdens per unit of produce, and recycling used substrate and reducing substrate volume per plant are both proposed. Since this soilless system was an open system, an efficient balance of both fertilizers and water is suggested.
Torrellas, M., Antón , A., Montero, J.I., Baeza, E.J., López , J.C. and Pérez Parra, J.J. (2012). LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF TOMATO CROP PRODUCTION IN A MEDITERRANEAN MULTISPAN TUNNEL GREENHOUSE. Acta Hortic. 927, 807-814
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.927.100
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), environmental impacts, fertilizers, emissions, reduction of inputs

Acta Horticulturae