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An energy dynamic Norwegian greenhouse industry (VeksthusDynamikk)

PART 1: Knowledge needs

1.Knowledge needs

To increase competitiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, The Norwegian Horticultural Growers Association (NGF) has reduced energy consumption and alternatives to fossil fuels as main focus areas. Energy costs in the greenhouse industry amounts to 25 to 40% of total costs. In VeksthusDynamikk, we propose to use technologies that not only reduce energy consumption, but also the need for chemical growth regulators and fungicides.

 

 

  

 

PART 2. The Knowledge-building Project

Our project team comprises a group of highly skilled and result oriented scientists, with a long tradition for national and international collaboration and industry outreach. Over the years, we have collaborated in numerous projects. The sub goals of this proposal are reflected in work packages (WPs) that include industry collaboration in Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands and extensive research activities with our Dutch, English, Canadian and US colleagues. All activities in the WPs are connected to focus areas being part of what is named Dynamic climate control (Fig. 1), thus contributing to an energy efficient and productive greenhouse industry.

2.Objectives

 


  1. Frontiers of knowledge and technology

The Norwegian greenhouse production has a first hand value of 53 % of the total horticultural production in Norway and is important in all regions of the country and in many rural areas. The main products are vegetables, pot plants, cut flowers and bedding plants. Greenhouses are also used for production of nursery stock and for high quality production and season extension of berry crops. Although the Norwegian greenhouse industry is small, it has been supported by internationally well-recognized research, that has included studies of supplementary lighting, light quality, CO2 enrichment, temperature, air humidity and plant protection. These are all essential factors for a cost effective production and premium post harvest quality. Production with supplementary light and CO2 enrichment makes it possible for Norwegian growers to be on the market year-round.

 

Dynamic temperature control and CO2 effects. Optimal control of CO2 concentration and temperature are key points in order to optimize light use effiency (LUE). We have previously shown that temperatures of up to 30-32°C (in daylight or artificial light) is beneficial for canopy photosynthesis of roses and cucumber if the CO2 concentration is kept high5,6. Dynamic temperature control where the temperature within a certain range follows the irradiance level can be an efficient means to reduce energy consumption1. However, our recent results with roses indicate that low night temperature to compensate for high maximum day temperatures might cause unexpected CO2 effects6. Canopy photosynthesis as affected by CO2 enrichment was significantly reduced by large as compared with small temperature fluctuations. Since photorespiration increases with temperature, and CO2 enrichment reduces the photorespiration, the effect of high CO2 is expected to increase with temperature3. A high

LUE in plants depends on the maintenance of a high CO2 effect, and it is an important task to clarify if a dynamic climate control (high day/low night temperatures) will reduce this effect.

 

Energy saving in a semi-closed greenhouse. Semi-closed greenhouses with active cooling have been tested during the last years in the Netherlands10 and Norway8. Cooling the greenhouse at high irradiance levels is very expensive, and today focus has changed to use coolers to reduce air humidity, and this is much less expensive (lower cooling capacity needed). Heat consumption related to ventilation to reduce air humidity in Norway, may

amount to 30-40% of the annual energy consumption in tomato, and in addition CO2 is lost through the vents. By using coolers combined with a heat pump the condensation heat as well as the CO2 gas will stay inside the greenhouse, and heated water from the coolers can be stored or directly used in other greenhouse compartments.

 

LED lamps to improve productivity and save energy. We have tested different types of narrow band light emitting diodes (LEDs) in greenhouse trials and in growth chamber experiments16. A main hinder for a practical application of LEDs in greenhouses thus far has been low energy conversion efficiency and high costs. However, new LED lamps are claimed to have an energy conversion factor up to 50%, considerably higher than in the commonly

used high pressure sodium lamps (HPS) (e.g. http://www.valoya.com/en/). For the greenhouse industry it is important that we follow the development of LED technology and analyze new LEDs (with different light spectra) with respect to lighting efficiency of the lamps, LUE and morphological effects on plants. A total analysis of energy consumption, plant growth and quality as well as costs of LEDs will be important.

 

Reduced plant transpiration. Stomatal opening plays a critical role in regulating gas exchange required for photosynthesis and transpiration. At night most plants close their stomata to maximize water conservation when there is no need for CO2 uptake for photosynthesis. However, when relative air humidity (RH) is high (>85%), the stomata opening at day time is larger in high RH than low and tends to remain open in the dark2. The lack of dark induced closure leads to evaporative heat loss at night. Depending on season and

transpiration the energy demand is calculated to be in average 30% higher in a plant canopy which transpires at night compared to a canopy with closed stomata (A. Sand, NGF, pers. comm.). In VeksthusDynamikk we aim to improve the stomata functionality and reduce transpiration losses and subsequent energy consumption without reducing the yield or plant quality.


Opening and closing of stomata (Fig.

2) is regulated by the plant hormones ethylene and abscisic acid (ABA), which in turn is regulated by the O2:CO2 ratio, RH, drought, light and temperature. Plants produced under high RH contain less ABA compared to leaves developed at moderate RH

due to increased inactivation7. A short

temperature increase and RH decrease suppress                   ABA     inactivation     and

trigger stomata closure in the dark (Arve et al., unpublished data). However, less information is available on the interactive effects between RH and light, although light is known to be one of the strongest signals for stomata opening and closing12. We have indications that LED light with 20% blue light improves stomata function under high RH and induce the closing ability in the dark compared to high pressure sodium lamps (HPS) with only 5% blue light (Terfa, unpublished data). RH can also influence post harvest water loss and plant life-span17. In a growing system with large differences in day and night temperature, significant variation in daily RH will occur, which may stimulate diseases like powdery mildew.

 

Growth regulation. Different plant growth regulators (PGRs) are commonly used in greenhouses to inhibit elongation growth in order to grow compact plants. However, PGRs have negative impacts on human health and the environment, and they are expensive and time-consuming to apply. There is a strong need for alternative strategies to control elongation growth. In VeksthusDynamikk we aim to test if manipulation of light quality by the use of

different light sources (LEDs, UV-B) can replace PGRs (Fig. 3).

 

Disease management. Powdery mildews are devastating foliar fungal diseases in most greenhouse crops. The inherent genetic variability and high reproductive potential of powdery mildews creates a system that requires intensive fungicide use, and a high risk for development of fungicide resistance. Previous studies showed that red light and UV-B have great potential in

reducing powdery mildew epidemics13,15  (Fig. 4). Short

intervals of low intensity UV-B during night greatly reduced powdery mildew severity in pot roses, tomato, and cucumber, and combination of UV-B and red light further increased control efficiency. We have discovered phytochrome-like genes in powdery mildews and also found that the damage of the powdery mildew DNA caused  by  UV-B  may  partly  be  repaired  by  a  certain

light/radiation spectre14. Here we propose to improve the

basic understanding of the genetic mechanisms behind the

effects of UV-B and red light. Furthermore, we want to improve the efficacy of UV-B and red light under practical conditions, and to study UV-B and red light under dynamic control conditions with varying CO2 enrichment and RH.

 

Analysis of energy and economy. Growers will be reluctant to implement new techniques and strategies for plant growth if it is not economically feasible. Economic calculations will increase motivation to take results from research into practice. This may be exemplified with


our previous project that included dehumidification by a heat pump and the use of one or two thermal screens, and this contributed to an economical sound implementation of new technology in the greenhouse industry9.

4.Research tasks and scientific methods

Model plants and growing facilities. In the proposed project we will use cucumber, tomato, lettuce, various herbs and poinsettia as the major model plants, in addition to some other pot and bedding plants. Experiments will take place in climate chambers, a phytotron and research greenhouses at Centre for Plant Research in Controlled Climate (SKP) at UMB as well as in commercial greenhouses. Laboratory work will take place at facilities of all collaborating research institutes. Interaction between the working packages (WPs), extension service, greenhouse industry and the other national and international partners will be managed by the project leader, H.R. Gislerød (UMB). For details regarding abbreviations of collaborating institutes, see Project organisation and management below.

 

WP1: Dynamic temperature control and optimal CO2-regulation at different light regimes

Responsible: L.M. Mortensen (UMB); Co-workers: A. Suthaparan, S. Torre, H. Pettersen,

A. Sand, M.S. Hem, L. Knudtzon, M. Berland; Collaborators internationally: S. Hemming, K-J. Bergstrøm

 

Photosynthesis of small plant stands. In order to get more information about how the magnitude of temperature fluctuations between day and night influences the effect of CO2 enrichment, the carbon exchange rate (CER) will be recorded continuously on small plant stands. A system consisting of chambers made of plastic film with a diameter

of 0.7 m and flexible height (0.5-2.0 m) will be used4 (Fig.

5). CER will be recorded at temperatures from 10 (night) to 35°C (day) at variable daylight during summer, as well as at artificial light levels typical for winter production of tomato and cucumber (up to about 300 µmol m-2 s-1) provided by commercial    HPS    lamps    or    LEDs.    Photosynthetic

characteristics as well as morphology and productivity will

be compared with LEDs and HPS. Photosynthesis and respiration will be recorded continuously for 10 to 20 days. Transpiration will be measured (cooperation with WP2) by recording the total plant plus pot weight at defined time intervals. Energy consumption for different light sources and climate regimes will be calculated in cooperation with WP4. There will be a close cooperation with WP3 regarding UV-B and red light experiments. In addition to tomato and cucumber, pot plants such as poinsettia, chrysanthemum, begonia and kalanchoe will be included.

 

Trials in a semi-closeed greenhouse. We will evaluate the potential energy saving by dehumidifying the air in a semi-closed greenhouse with energy storage, and including the use of one or two thermal screens and dynamic temperature control. The study will be performed in a 345 m2 greenhouse compartment with a cooling capacity of 240 W m-2 and a buffer tank of 40 m3 water at Gjennestad horticultural college9. There will be a close link between this trial and more detailed analysis of canopy photosynthesis (LUE) at different climate regimes as mentioned above. WP1 will collaborate with WP2 in order to find practical means to decrease transpiration without reducing plant growth, and with WP4 for energy calculations.

 

WP2: Reduced plant transpiration and better understanding of stomata regulation Responsible:  S.  Torre  (UMB);  Co-workers:  L.E.  Arve,  L.M.  Mortensen,  A.  Sand,  H. Pettersen, M. Strøm; Collaborators internationally: E. Heuvelink, I. Zaharia , S. Wilkinson

 

Growth studies – measurements of transpiration at plant level. Growth studies will be performed under environmental regimes, where high RH is combined with different radiation qualities  (different  portions  of  blue  light,  red  light,  UV-radiation)  and  temperature/RH


variation. Measurements of transpiration and transpiration rate will be done in light and darkness at whole plant level (in cooperation with WP1) and at leaf level by the use of a porometer to measure conductance. Different environmental regimes will be compared, and calculations on energy savings will be done in co-operation with WP4 and Wageningen University. Growth analysis (leaf unfolding rate, leaf area, biomass production) of plants from different environmental regimes will be performed.

 

Stomata functionality – leaf and cellular level. Dessication tests will be performed with detached leaves/shoots to study the stomata responses to dry air. Imprints will be used to measure stomata aperture in light and darkness2. Different microscopy techniques will be used for detailed studies on stomata morphology and frequency.

 

The involvement of plant hormones and their regulation. ABA and its metabolites will be measured at NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute (Canada) in freeze dried samples. The enzymes involved in ABA synthesis and metabolism will be measured by the use of enzymatic methods2 and by Quantitative real-time PCR analyses to follow their expression levels. The post doc working on this project will stay two to four months at Lancaster Univ. (UK) and use their methods for analyzing ethylene and ABA18 and to study interactions between ABA and ethylene on stomata function under different RH regimes.

 

Quality assessments. Postharvest waterloss, longevity and quality as well as susceptibility to diseases will be performed on plants from different environmental regimes. In collaboration with the project HYDRANGEA (Oslofjordfondet) quality assessments will be performed on Hydrangeas from semi-closed greenhouses with dehumidification systems and compared with plants from commercial greenhouses without dehumidification.

 

WP3: UV-B and red LED light as substitutes for growth regulators and fungicides Responsible: A.  Stensvand  (Bioforsk);  Co-workers:  A. Suthaparan,  L.M. Mortensen, S. Torre, L. Knudtzon; Collaboration internationally: D.M. Gadoury, L. Cadle-Davidson, J. Hofland-Zijlstra

 

Plant morphology. To compare responses to different spectra (HPS, LEDs, UV) growth analysis (dry matter distribution, growth rate) and morphological measurements (leaf area, stem, internode and petiole length) will be performed on plants grown in commercial greenhouses and growth chambers.

 

Mechanisms involved in DNA damage and repair. Growth chamber experiments will be conducted to test the hypothesis of UV-B-induced DNA damage that inhibits cell replication mechanisms in powdery mildews. DNA will be extracted from powdery mildew fungi exposed to growth light with and without UV-B. DNA damage will be quantified by modified methods of an ELISA technique described for plants11. In collaboration with Cornell Univ. we

will conduct experiments to further understand the role of photoreceptor genes at the proteomic level. Protein expression will be assessed with an accurate multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method.

 

Optimization of UV-B and red light. To improve the efficacy of UV-B and red light, greenhouse experiments will be conducted with tomato and cucumber as model plants. Different doses of red light in combination with UV-B will be tested at canopy level to optimize the dose which is efficient in disease control without causing phytotoxicity. Supplemental lighting will be supplied by energy efficient LEDs. The knowledge developed will then be further tested under dynamic climate conditions as described in WP 1.

WP4: Estimation of energy consumption and economy

Responsible:   A. Sand (NGF); Co-workers: H. Pettersen,   L.M. Mortensen,   S. Torre;

Collaboration internationally: S. Hemming

 

Energy and economy calculations. WPs 1 to 3 all aim at reducing energy consumption per produced unit and hence lower CO2 emission, and here results from the other WPs will be


evaluated with respect to energy consumption, sustainability and economy for the greenhouse industry. The following areas will be evaluated: (i) Increased photosynthesis due to dynamic climate control (low night and high day temperature) and increased CO2 enrichment in the greenhouse atmosphere; (ii) change in productivity due to LED-light compared to ordinary HPS-lamps; (iii) energy consumption by dehumidifying/cooling the greenhouse air without ventilation, including heat storage; (iv) reduced evaporation because of better stomata control;

  1. effect of better postharvest quality, i.e. reduced water loss due to better closing of stomata;
  2. improved growth after treating plants with UV-radiation and reducing the mildew problem. For each area we will calculate the reduction in energy use, reduction in fossil energy use and economic profit for the grower. This will include modeling tools and experience at WUR, which VeksthusDynamikk will benefit greatly from.

5.Organisation and project plan

Project plan

No.

Main activitiy, goals and deliverables

Total expenses

Resposibe partner

Main partners

WP1

On basis on photosynthetic measurements and growth results an optimal climate combination will be found and implemented in practical greenhouse production

6300

Mortensen

Suthaparan

WP2

Develop strategies to control transpiration and stimulate stomata movements under high RH conditions in greenhouses

3500

Torre

Arve

WP3

Develop strategies to control powdery mildew and growth regulation under dynamic climate regulations

2650

Stensvand

Suthaparan

WP4

Evaluation of energy consumption, sustainability and economy, provide recommendations for growers

1200

Sand

Pettersen

 

Project organisation and management

Governing body. A governing body and a reference group for the project will be constituted by representatives from the industry, extension service and research institutions involved.

 

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB). Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at UMB has a main emphasis on research and education. Project leader Prof. H.R. Gislerød has long experience in research, teaching and outreach to the greenhouse industry. Dr. L.M. Mortensen has a wide experience within optimizaton of greenhouse climate for plant growth, with particular emphasis on CO2, light, air humidity and temperature. Assoc. Prof. S. Torre has her main experience in postharvest related problems, temperature control of elongation and stomata function. Dr. A. Suthaparan has experience with studies of light duration and light quality on development of powdery mildew. L.E. Arve will finish her PhD on stomata function and stress tolerance in spring 2013 and will enter the project as a postdoc. The PhD students M.T. Terfa and A.R. Gobena will work on effects of light and temperature on plant growth and morphology. We will give the opportunity to at least five students to obtain their MSc thesis by participation in various research activities within the project.

 

Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk). The Plant Health and Plant Protection Division at Bioforsk does basic and applied research on biological and integrated control of diseases and pests, and is well equipped to do the proposed experiments. Prof. A. Stensvand is a plant pathologist, specialized in biology, epidemiology and control strategies of fungal diseases in fruit, ornamental and vegetable crops.

 

The Norwegian Horticultural Grower Association (NGF) is the only organization working for horticulture on the professional and political level. They have 488 company members and are organised in 15 local units. One of the important aims of NGF is to reduce the energy


consumption, and A. Sand is leading this work. He is a horticulturist with special competence related to greenhouse crops and energy consumption.

 

Gjennestad horticultural college is a private school for education in biology, mainly related to horticulture. Gjennestad will participate in experiments related to energy saving and commercial testing of techniques to reduce powdery mildews by UV-B and red light. Both

M.S. Hem and Dr. H. Pettersen are specialists in greenhouse crops. Dr. Pettersen is a former rector at the college, and both have long experience in teaching, advisory and research.

 

Norwegian Agricultural Extension Service (NAES) is the national extension service for all crops. They give advise to farmers/growers and perform applied trials and development studies. L. Knudtzon and M. Strøm are extension specialists in greenhouse crops, both with MSc degrees in horticulture and long experience in advisory and experimental work.

 

Industry partners. Gartnerhallen AL is the largest cooperative for horticultural crops in Norway, and more than 1300 producers of fruit, berry, vegetables and potatoes deliver their produce to Gartnerhallen. The annual sale is approx. 1500 million NOK. Primaflor is owned by Norwegian flower producer and has an annual sale of approx. 500 millon NOK. The greenhouse industry supporting the project are represented by wholesailers (Gartnerhallen, Primaflor), distributors of equipment to the industry (LOG), vegetable growers and potplant/bedding plant growers. In addition largest greenhouse operation in Demark (PKM AS) and a company from Finland (Valoya) producing LED-lighting will be involved. The industry partners will be active in planning of the research, provide greenhouse area for experiments, and the industry will be represented in the governing body of the project.

 

International co-operation. Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), Greenhouse Horticulture (The Netherlands): Dr. S. Hemming leads the research group Greenhouse Technology and has expertise on greenhouse energy management, greenhouse climate, physical modelling etc. The activities aim at the integral design of new concepts or components of sustainable horticultural production systems. This cooperation will also include the Horticulture Supply Chains goup, where the physiological work related to horticulture takes place, with Dr. E. Heuvelink, in addition to the pathology group with Dr. J. Hofland- Zijlstra. Cornell University (New York, USA): Dr. D.M. Gadoury is a world leading experts in biology and epidemiology of powdery mildews. Dr. Gadoury has a 20% position as senior researcher at Bioforsk. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU at Alnarp): Dr. K.-J. Bergstrand is responsible for climate response research in greenhouse crops at SLU Alnarp. He will spend two years at UMB from the autumn 2013. Lancaster University (UK), Lancaster Environment Center (LEC): Dr. S. Wilkinson leads the Crop Stress Signalling group at LEC and is a world leading expert on stress tolerance, productivity and plant responce to environmental change. NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute, Saskatoon (Sascatchewan, Canada): Dr. Irina Zaharia at NRC, is a world-leading expert on plant hormone analyses, and will take part in analysis of plant hormones in studies of stomata function and shoot elongation.

6.

 

Milestones

2013

2014

2015

2016

Quarter of year

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

Project initiation and planning

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP1: Photosynthesis climate experiments

x

x

 

x

x

x

 

x

x

x

 

x

x

x

 

 

WP1: Trials in semi-closed greenhouse

x

x

x

 

x

x

x

 

x

x

x

 

x

x

 

 

WP1: Comparing LED and HPS

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

 

WP2: Growth experiments

 

x

x

x

x

 

 

x

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

WP2: Hormone analysis (ABA)

 

 

 

x

 

x

x

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important milestones Progress plan - milestones


 

WP2: Postdoc stay at LEC

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP2: qPCR-analysis

 

 

 

 

x

 

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP2: Quality assessments

 

x

x

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP3: Optimize red light and UV-B dose

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP3: Trials under dynamic climate

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

WP3: Protein expression analysis

 

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

x

 

 

 

WP3: Fungal DNA damage assessment

 

x

x

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP4: Analyze data from WP1-3

 

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

 

WP4: Inform growers

 

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

x

x

x

 

Reports, publications

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

x

x

x

 

 

  1. Costs incurred by each research performing partner (NOK 1 000)

 

Research performing partner

Payroll and indir. exp.

Equiment

Other operational expenses

Totals

UMB*

9100

400

3000

12500

Bioforsk

600

 

100

700

NAES

 

 

400

400

Cornell University

 

 

50

50

Total

 

 

 

13650

*L.M. Mortensen (senior researcher) and I. Hagen (technician) both in 50 % position throughout the project period, A. Suthaparan (researcher) in 50 % position the first 2 years of the project and 100 % the last 2 years.

L.E. Arve (postdoc) 100 % position the first 3 years.

 

8.Financial contribution by industrial partner or other user (NOK 1 000)

 

Industrial partner or other user

Cash financing

IPM/UMB

800

Primaflor AS, AL Gartnerhallen,

240

G3 ungplanter, Kristiansen Gartneri, Grimstad

120

Solberg, Espedal, Andersen, Aase Gartneri

238

Gjennestad gartnerskole, Vestfold

100

Cornell University, USA

50

Riis, Kristoffersen, Kjærnsrød Gartneri

60

PKM AS, Danmark

200

LOG

40

MesterGrønn, Plantasjen

300

NGF-FoU-fond (apply for money each year)

100

NGF-energy

400

Research Council (MATFONDAVTALE)

11002

 

Other support not included in Financial contribution. WUR has projects from the greenhouse industy in 2013 for approximately NOK 7 million, and parts of this will be allocated into the collaborative work with VeksthusDynamikk. They will have approximately the same industry support for 2014 to 2016. We applied to Sparebankstiftelsen (savings bank foundation) Østfold/Akershus for NOK 500.000 to support the project, but a decision is not made. We will also apply to the NGF-culture clubs for poinsettia and cucumber for support, where a decision will be made at their annual meetings in October/November 2012. The Finish company Valoya will support the project with LED-lamps.

9.Other collaboration

Several of the researchers are involved in other projects, including MildewFree (2012-2014) and HYDRANGEA (2012-2014), both financed through RFF Oslofjordfondet, and resources and people will be shared between these projects and VeksthusDynamikk.


PART 3: Project impact

 

10.Impact for national knowledge base

Even if most of the greenhouse industry in Norway has a high level of competence, we currently see large structural changes. Small and inefficient operations leave the business, while others modernize and expand. It is important for the industry to be supported by competent research and extension institutions nationally and internationally. In VeksthusDynmikk we will collaborate with highly recognized research institutions in Europe and North America, and we will mutually benefit from each others complementary work.

 

The greenhouse technology is rapidly advancing, and it is important that research on plant growth/quality and plant protection follow this development. There are significant gaps in our understanding of how we can adapt knowledge and technology on energy saving to Norwegian growing conditions, and how altered climatic conditions may affect plant growth and diseases. The research in these areas are only in its beginning, and this project will create new knowledge with scientific and industrial impact internationally. Throughout this project we will further develop the cooperation between the research areas of greenhouse technology, greenhouse plant production and plant protection, and strengthen the collaboration between UMB, Bioforsk, Gjennestad College, NAES and the industry. This will largely benefit the educational programs at UMB and Gjennestad and subsequently improve recruitment and knowledge base for all institutions and companies involved.

 

Three PhD students have been educated though the ongoning project VEKSTHUS (2009- 2012), and one of them (L.E. Arve) will be engaed in VeksthusDynamikk. In addition, will A. Suthaparan, currently a postdoc in the VEKSTHUS project, be engaged in VeksthusDynamikk. This will ensure that the above mentioned people will qualify for recruitement into permanent positions at UMB or elsewhere. VeksthusDynamikk will also offer thesis work for MSc students, and we have a strong emphasis on international collaboration and exchange of researchers and students. This will further extend the basis for recruitment to research in greenhouse crops and for the greenhouse industry itself.

11.Relevance for Norwegian greenhouse industry

If successful, the energy consumption per unit of product will be substantially reduced, i.e. up to 30 to 40%. CO2 emission will decrease as will the use of chemical growth regulators and fungicides. There will be some investments for the growers, but in the long term we anticipate that energy and chemical costs will be greatly reduced. Results from the proposed project may lay the grounds for a more profitable organic greenhouse production. Calculations by NGF and WUR on energy efficiency and CO2 emmision will provide comparable data from both Norway and the Netherlands. Dutch industry and research is world leading in developing new technology for greenhouses, and access to data and experiences from both countries will provide an excellent basis for further development of the Norwegian greenhouse industry. Ultimately, VeksthusDynamikk will make the Norwegian greenhouse industry more cost efficient and environmentally friendly.

 

PART 4: Other aspects

12.Other socio-economic benefits

Less use of fossil fuels in agriculture is an important goal for the Ministry of agriculture and food and for the Norwegian government in general. Furhtermore, we anticipate that vegetables with less residues will be the results from the present project.

13.Communication of results

Growers and other industry related to greenhouse production involved in VeksthusDynamikk will be frequently followed up on site, and they will have first-hand access to results. We plan to have yearly meetings in collaboration with NGF at the annual open day at Gjennestad


College. We plan to arrange two educational courses for growers and technical/research staff at all institutions involved in VeksthusDynamikk during the project period. Furthermore, we will arrange meetings with the growers/industry directly involved in the project, amounting to 20-30 lectures. We will publish a minimum of 20 articles in the Norwegian grower journal Gartneryrket, ten in international scientific journals with referee and ten oral/poster presentations at different international scientific conferences.

14.Environmental impacts

As far as we can see, VeksthusDynamikk will have no negative effects on the environment. On the contrary, it will provide a basis for reduced energy consumption and CO2 emission, and less use of fungicides and growth retardants.

15.Ethical concerns

All cooperating institutions have established ethics policies and mechanisms for prevention of scientific misconduct. Project leaders are well known and internationally respected for the quality of their work, and we anticipate that these standards will be maintained.

16.Gender issues

All cooperating institutions have established non-discrimination policies and mechanisms for prevention of gender misconduct, and all involved personnel are required to follow these policies. VeksthusDynamikk will provide an important basis for one female scientist  to qualify as full professor and one female PhD to qualify as permanent scientific staff.

 

References

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