Farm management and economic drivers for implementation of soilless cultivation of field vegetables in the netherlands

J.J. de Haan, J. Spruijt, T. Vermeulen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Current field vegetable production in the Netherlands has difficulty to meet the requirements of the EU directives on water quality and to meet the market require¬ments on food safety, product quality and predictability. Therefore, a multiannual research program has been carried out to develop new soilless systems for field vegetables next to other outdoor horticultural crops. Profitability is a precondition for widespread implementation of these systems and to achieve a significant sustainability impact. This paper focuses on the potential of Deep Flow cultivation systems for vegetables to improve farm management and economics for growers. Results show that these crops give a yield increase on the soilless systems with respect to the soil bound system, mainly by faster growth and higher plant densities. At this moment, the cost prices for vegetables cultivated on this soilless system on a small scale are higher than conventional outdoor vegetables, because of the high capital costs for the soilless system in comparison with the costs for tractors and agricultural machinery and the higher energy requirement for water circulation. We expect that growers are able to make the system profitable for leek, lettuce and spinach by up scaling, optimization of production, mechanization and automation of the system. Product differentiation to high value market segments also offers perspectives to profitable systems, although the thus achieved cultivated area and sustainability impact on a national scale will be limited. The large investment costs in the systems may be a barrier for growers to change over to the soilless cropping system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IS on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation
EditorsC. Blok, E. van Os, W. Voogt
Place of PublicationLeuven
PublisherISHS
Pages177-183
Volume1034
ISBN (Print)9789462610217
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation, Leiden, The Netherlands -
Duration: 16 May 201416 May 2014

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation, Leiden, The Netherlands
Period16/05/1416/05/14

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Farm management and economic drivers for implementation of soilless cultivation of field vegetables in the netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Projects

    Cite this

    de Haan, J. J., Spruijt, J., & Vermeulen, T. (2014). Farm management and economic drivers for implementation of soilless cultivation of field vegetables in the netherlands. In C. Blok, E. van Os, & W. Voogt (Eds.), Proceedings of the IS on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation (Vol. 1034, pp. 177-183). Leuven: ISHS. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1034.21