Horticultural production in greenhouses: efficient use of water

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Abstract

The central thesis of this paper is that greenhouse production of vegetables is the most water-efficient food production system and thus can contribute to meeting the challenge of feeding a better diet to an increasing world population, without increasing the need for irrigation water. The various physiological and managerial components of agricultural water use efficiency are unravelled and the potential improvements achieved by using a greenhouse are analysed. In the first place it is shown that greenhouse growers usually have better tools for water management; then it is discussed how and why a greenhouse environment leads naturally to higher productivity and transpiration efficiency than growing in the field; finally the high economic productivity of water in greenhouses is quantified. It is discussed that this would warrant the investments in infrastructure and tools that are needed to increase water use efficiency. It is also shown that, contrary to accepted wisdom, greenhouse production makes it possible to decrease the environmental impact of vegetable pro-duction.
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
Pages25-32
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

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Stanghellini, C. (2014). Horticultural production in greenhouses: efficient use of water. In C. Blok, E. van Os, & W. Voogt (Eds.), Proceedings of the IS on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation (Vol. 1034, pp. 25-32). Leuven: ISHS. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1034.1