“Essentials of Greenhouse Management – Vegetables”

In a greenhouse, either glass or plastic, it is possible to control many of the conditions during the cultivation of a crop. This includes for instance irrigation, fertilization, temperature, humidity, pests and diseases but also labour management and production planning.

In this course the greenhouse management for vegetables is introduced to those who are (relatively) new in protected horticulture and are active in middle of upper layer of management. During this five-day intensive course basic management technology, crop cultivation and socio-economic managerial aspects will be highlighted. Practical training and field trips to relevant companies and places are part of the course.

The program can be upgraded to a higher level of knowledge upon request

Time & Duration: 5 consecutive days (9am – 5pm)
Course Dates 2018:* to be determined

* For group trainings the dates are flexible

Location: Violierenweg 3, 2665 MV (Improvement Centre & Training facility of Delphy)
Price per person: on request
Course Subscription:  Yes, I would like to register for this course
Hotel & Transport: We will facilitate the arrangements of hotel and transport from and to airport on your behalf (costs not included)

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Course Program (changes may occur for organisational reasons)

Day 1: Introduction, present state of greenhouse vegetable sector

  • Introduction of program, participants and Delphy; inventory of raised questions to be answered
  • Overview greenhouse sector worldwide and the Netherlands; status quo, trends and developments.
  • Field visit: Visit to Improvement Centre, explanation of state-of-the-art greenhouse system and different cultivation systems in Delphy Improvement Centre as in introduction to what is to come (depending on the trainees this may be during the afternoon session)
  • Back to basics: quick refresher of plant physiology and optimizing photosynthesis. The influence of plant hormones on the cultivation is also addressed.
  • Greenhouse climate. Using the Mollier diagram you will be able to have a better understanding on how to improve your climate and what measures will be helpful to improve plant productivity.

Day 2: Next Generation Growing

  • After the refreshing our knowledge on plant physiology and greenhouse climate yesterday we will address Next Generation Growing today. Originating from the necessity to save energy the strategy of lowering humidity changed from heating to bringing in outside air. In this workshop you will understand the principles and look for ways to apply this in your own situation.
  • A variety of plants sensors, climate measurements and other instruments is available on the market. What is useful to monitor, what do you actually measure and how can you use these data for optimisation of your production. Attention is paid to possibilities of digital growing and distance support.
  • Field visit: visiting production sites of one or more of the vegetable crops. Companies depending on the composition and interests of the group.

Day 3: Breeding and propagation

  • Field visit: The cultivation starts with the choice of the right variety for the cultivation system and market. In that process breeding companies play an important role. During a visit to one of the major breeding companies you will see the latest developments in breeding and seed quality and -treatment.
  • A healthy start is necessary to be successful in production. Propagation has different requirements than production and has become a specialists job in the Netherlands. In most countries, however, it is part of the production nursery. This lecture focusses on demands in hygiene during propagation, climate conditions as well as the planning and execution of propagation. It may include a field visit to a propagator as well, depending on the time of year and the composition of the group.

Day 4: Fertigation, IPM and labour management

  • Irrigation and fertilization are familiar to you, but what can we still optimize? During this session we will address different topics related to fertilizer management, reading analysis and calculation and adjustment of nutrient solutions depending on the preferences of the group (to be decided the first day of the course)
  • Another important topic on the list: Integrated pest management (IPM). As chemicals against pests and diseases are less favourable over the years, and more biologic control is used, crop protection is a very important topic.
  • An underestimated factor in production is labour. Skilled labour is necessary, but also the labour has to be done in the right way with minimum time spend in case labour is expensive. If labour is less expensive it may take some more time, but still the job as to be done correctly. So labour is a point of attention in any case. This afternoon we will discuss various topics related to labour management based on your situation.

Day 5: marketing, post-harvest and certification

  • Field visit: Once the produce is harvested it should reach the consumer in good condition. During a visit to a packing station post-harvest treatment is explained and packing of produce can be observed. Discussion on the marketing is possible.
  • A lecture on post-harvest is addressing theory behind post-harvest and factors influencing the quality. It will provide insight in what is happening to your product and the importance of chain management.
  • Over the last few years we have seen many ways of certification of products. What is the value of a certificate, which would you need or want to have and why?
  • In the final session a round table is organised for final discussion and evaluation. During the closure session the certificates are handed and drinks offered.

Feedback from participants:

“The trainers have extensive practical know-how and experience”
“Great training to learn about the ins and outs of Greenhouse Management”
“This training has shown me there is much more to learn to improve”
“Very practical insights that I can apply directly after the training”
“Lots of new information during this week”

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Trainers: Our education team consists of dedicated passionate staff consisting of international consultant/trainers and senior lecturers.

For more information please contact Jeroen van Buren

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