The National Federation of Organic Agriculture, the Climate Action Network, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation and Greenpeace have launched a petition to the French Minister of Agriculture and Food to more strictly supervise the heating of greenhouses in organic farming and prohibit the production of organic fruits and vegetables out of season.
Call for ban on organic greenhouse production out of season
Greensys symposium brings the greenhouse world together
Greensys 2019, the international symposium on technological advances and greenhouse innovation, will take place in Angers (France) on 17-20 June 2019. This world event is expected to host more than 600 delegates of 32 nationalities. From 17 to 19 June, three scientific days will cover a dozen topics such as: greenhouse systems and design, climate modeling, lighting, and energy. The 19th June will be dedicated to meetings between scientists and professionals around the development of robotics in greenhouses, followed by visits to companies and technical centres on June 20th.
Massive growth of Russian vegetable output
Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture has announced that greenhouse vegetable production is set to hit 1.3 million tons this year, vastly outstripping last year’s record crop (1.1 million tons). And this exponential growth is showing no sign of slowing down, with forecasts of reaching around 2 million tons within five years, thanks partly to sizeable government funding, which almost doubled last year to Rbs240 million. The country’s winter greenhouse production area climbed by over 10% to 2,500ha in 2018, with the strategic Stavropol Territory seeing a 5% increase in volumes to 290,500 tons.
Construction underway of giant tomato greenhouse in Suffolk
A giant tomato greenhouse is to begin operations in Suffolk, UK. In the first stage of a £30m project, Sterling Suffolk Ltd has built a huge Dutch-style glasshouse equal in size to eleven football pitches. The first tomatoes will be planted in December ready for harvesting from mid-February 2019. The tomato vines will be produced using hydroponics. It is environmentally friendly, with air-circulation systems and water-collection systems.
Slowdown of expansion of Mexican protected agriculture
Mexico’s tomato production is expected to remain stable in 2018/19 at 3.4 million tons. However, there has been a shift in recent years from open field production to higher-yielding protected agriculture. Nevertheless, despite growing rapidly over the past few years to 15,200 ha in 2016/17, Mexico’s greenhouse tomato production has begun to slow, with less than 1,000 ha added last year.
Netherlands greenhouse agriculture targets climate-neutrality by 2040
As the Dutch greenhouse agricultural sector aims to be climate-neutral by 2040, sustainable alternatives to natural gas are constantly being sought. Around twenty greenhouse producers now use a form of bio-energy to heat their farm, such as a biomass boiler for heat or a bio-cogeneration (bio-CHP) for heat and electricity.
Dutch strawberry growers aim to vanquish the Spanish
Dutch greenhouse strawberry growers are looking to usurp the current king of the supermarkets – the Spanish strawberry. Around a dozen large-scale strawberry farms are already working to produce strawberries under glass. At present, about 75% of all strawberries in the Netherlands grow in the open, but this may not be the case for much longer. The Dutch Berries production company is just one of the firms building mega-greenhouses.
Notable upscaling in the Netherlands’ greenhouse vegetable production
Between 1980 and 2017, the number of greenhouse vegetable growers operating in the Netherlands plummeted by 85%, according to data published by CBS Landbouwtelling 2017. Over the same period, the acreage of the remaining growers increased by 700% time, with the country’s ten largest greenhouse vegetable companies owning nearly 10% of the total area by 2017.