July GH 2012 - page 6

THE COMMERCIAL GREENHOUSE GROWER
JULY 2012
6
N
EWS
Dutch greenhouse manufacturer appoint UK agent
Ben van der Heide (left) of VDH Foliekassen BV and Ian
Metcalfe CMW, shake hands on their new partnership.
Scientists from Wageningen
University have concluded
that it is possible to develop
plants that produce even
more food by reducing the
level of pigments, which
make no contribution to
photosynthesis. The
conclusion is based on
research into the
effectiveness of
photosynthesis in various light
conditions, which was carried
out in cooperation with the
VU University in Amsterdam.
The scientists discovered that
leaf pigments not directly
involved in photosynthesis
‘dissipate’ light by absorption
rather than using it effectively.
Now research into the
effectiveness of
photosynthesis in various light
conditions has answered
some important questions. It
has shown that plants
efficiently adapt their leaves
to the light colours present
where they grow, using the
available light as effectively as
possible. The research also
demonstrated how specific
combinations of
various light
colours result in
more
photosynthesis
than the sum of
the individual
light colours.
This insight is
relevant, among
other things, for
minimising
energy
consumption in
the lighting of
horticultural greenhouses.
Scientists discovered that
leaf pigments not directly
involved in photosynthesis
‘dissipate’ light. While these
non-photosynthetic pigments
do absorb light, they do not
use it for photosynthesis. This
discovery could lead to the
development of plants that
produce more food by
reducing the amount of these
non-photosynthetic pigments.
This mainly applies to
‘protected’ cultivation, such
as in greenhouses, as at least
some of the non-
photosynthetic pigments
have a protective function, for
instance against too much
UV light or insect damage.
These factors are less
relevant in indoor cultivation
than in open fields.
Scientists from Wageningen
UR and research agency
Plant Lighting and author
Sander Hogewoning are
currently working on
translating the new
knowledge into applicable
innovations.
The research was supported
by STW, NWO, Philips, Plant
Dynamics BV, VU University
Amsterdam, the Product
Board for Horticulture, and
the Dutch Ministry of
Economic Affairs, Agriculture
and Innovation.
Plants could use light even more effectively
Dutch plastic greenhouse
manufacturer VDH
Foliekassen BV has
appointed CMW Horticulture,
mechanical ventilation
systems.
“Adding high specification
plastic greenhouses to our
existing product portfolio is a
very exciting step for us” says
CMW Director Ian Metcalfe.
“It gives us the opportunity to
supply customers with the
greenhouse as well as all the
internal equipment. VDH
greenhouses combine
modern film technology with
robust structures and
improved mechanical
ventilation so that in some
cases they can be a cost
effective alternative to glass.”
It’s also seen as an important
step by VDH. “We’ve been
interested in the UK market
for some time,” explains VDH
Director Ben Van Der Heide,
as sole UK agents. VDH have
25 years experience in the
manufacture of advanced
plastic greenhouses with full
“and in CMW we’ve found a
partner who shares our
values of quality and service,
which is key for us.”
VDH have a reputation for
innovation too, and claim to
be the first greenhouse
company to clad
greenhouses in double layer
f-clean®, a thin ETFE film
that is claimed to not only let
in more light than glass, PE
film, polycarbonate and
Pimma sheets, but promises
significant energy savings as
well. “All our greenhouses
can be supplied with double-
layered film with an air space
between,” says Ben Van Der
Heide. “This can result in as
much as 40% energy saving
compared with single sheet
glass.“
A new downy mildew fungicide for selected protected and
outdoor edible crops will be available from Fargro and its
distributors from early July.
Based on mandipropamid, Pergado Uni will be available in
500ml packs.
An EAMU for use on ornamentals is being applied for.
Downy mildew fungicide
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