Although the implementation of greenhouses represents wide advantages over open field production, it is also true that it has its drawbacks, since they are not free to cause any kind of impact on the environment. That is why it is necessary to know both sides of the coin and in this article of a How we are going to discover the advantages and disadvantages of greenhouses so you can deepen better in the subject.
Advantages of greenhouses
Intensification of production
The greenhouses are considered elements of intensive agriculture for several reasons, firstly because it is possible to establish the conditions for the proper development of the plants, because there is some isolation from the outside; also because more plants can be placed per unit area than in the open field; and the last aspect, also of relevance, is the possibility of using climate control facilities, which improve the conditions of the crop to an optimum point.
Increase in yields
It has been proven after a long time of study that the yields per unit area of a crop are increased 2 to 3 times under greenhouse but in soil compared with open field, and if hydroponics is used, the yields can be several times those obtained the weather, being able to become 10 times higher if the necessary care is reversed.
Lower production risk
If climate change is natural or man-induced, it is not a case here, but it must be recognized that it affects everything equally, including the production of crops; and it is that being the crops protected by structures such as greenhouses minimizes the damage they may suffer due to the randomness of natural phenomena, which in the open field can come to represent total losses, as we have just seen recently in Sinaloa, where frost damaged a high percentage of crops.
More efficient use of inputs
With techniques such as fertigation and hydroponics, it is possible to provide plants with only the elements they need during each stage of their development, so only the necessary fertilizers are spent, minimizing waste, which ultimately means losing money. The same happens with water, since the modern installations of irrigation systems allow their most efficient use, in this sense I refer to localized or precision irrigation (drip, micro-sprinkler and fogging)
Greater control of pests, weeds and diseases
For a greenhouse to facilitate the control of pests, diseases and weeds it must have been correctly designed and constructed, being in this sense where many of them fail because the hermeticity of the same is the key to a successful control. In addition, the cultivation in greenhouses facilitates the programming of the applications, being that it is feasible to control who has access to the crop. Source: Management and operation of agricultural greenhouses.
In this other article of a How we do how to make a homemade greenhouse in case you dare to make one yourself.
More interesting advantages of greenhouses
Possibility of growing all year round
Because inside the greenhouse there is relative independence from the outside environment it is possible to have production at any time of the year, regardless of whether the winter is very cold or the summer propitiates high temperatures, because for the first case heating can be implemented and for the second ventilation and cooling. In this way, when using greenhouses it is feasible to produce without interruptions due to climatic conditions.
Obtaining products out of season
As a result of being able to produce all year round, it also has the advantage of obtaining products out of season, which means that it is possible to find better marketing markets due to the lack of competition and because the markets are not saturated as in the peak season. Production. For this it is necessary to know the times that are handled in open field crops so that the products are marketed avoiding high competition.
Obtaining products in regions with restrictive conditions
The environmental conditions are not always adequate for the establishment of crops or greatly restrict the species that can be grown to only those adapted to the conditions of the place. In this way, with the help of greenhouses, it is feasible to take advantage of the land extensions where production is very difficult because the water can be used to the maximum and only the plants are given the necessary elements for its development. Inside a greenhouse the plants enjoy some isolation from the outside.
Obtaining high quality products
Within a greenhouse the plants are not exposed to physical wear and tear produced by environmental elements such as rain and strong winds, hail or high solar radiation, so the quality of the products obtained is greater, demonstrated both in its presentation to the final consumer and in its internal composition. This allows us to obtain greater profits at the time of selling our products, or find better markets and can export if a high quality is obtained.
Greater comfort and safety
In a greenhouse, not only the plants are protected, as the workers also find shelter from the inclement weather, and that is open field is more likely to suffer from solar radiation that causes high temperatures, or at any time it may start to rain and hail. In the greenhouse, the cultivation activities programmed previously can be fulfilled if the climatic weather is an obstacle to leaving them for another day.
Ideal conditions for research
If we have a medium-tech greenhouse, we can manipulate the environmental conditions as required by the crop, but we can also make modifications by subjecting the plants to different conditions to investigate and make conclusions about what is more favorable for the crop or under what situations are obtained. Better features.
Disadvantages of greenhouses
However, it is easy to get carried away by the positive points that these structures offer us and to undertake a project without even having stopped to analyze the negative issues, which also exist. For this reason, we will make an analysis of the main inconveniences that can be faced when deciding to start a production in which the construction of greenhouses is planned. This is not with the desire to discourage projects of this nature, if not the opposite, because the knowledge of possible weaknesses will allow us to pay more attention to them to avoid the failure of the company.
High initial investment
Greenhouses are structures that have a relatively high construction cost, therefore the initial investment is high and the main objective of the producer must be to recover this expense, which is why it is only advisable to use them to produce crops of high economic value, such as some vegetables and ornamentals, because economically they are not justified for basic crops or with little marketing value. The investment to be made to build greenhouses is relatively high.
Lack of knowledge of structures
A greenhouse must be designed and built according to several aspects, among which are the environmental conditions of the area and the climatic requirements of the crop (s) that are to be produced. In this way, the fact of not identifying the type of structure required by the project implies more future expenses to recondition the spaces.
High production costs
The operating expenses in a greenhouse are greater than in the open field, which is logical because there are much greater expenses for the fact of giving the crop the ideal conditions for its development. If outside temperatures are low, spending on electricity and / or gas for heating will raise the cost of production, in the same way it will happen if there are high temperatures and you want to cool the environment; just to mention some examples.
High level of training
Inside the greenhouses the workers are completely responsible for the plants, because the fact of being able to control all the variables of the environment means that any problem presented makes the man responsible immediately. For this reason workers must be trained constantly so they can be prepared for any inconvenience that may arise. This training implies higher production costs.
Optimal conditions for the development of pathogens
One of the objectives of the greenhouses is to keep the plants in the optimum conditions for their development, this implies therefore that the pathogens will enjoy the same advantages. It is true that these structures make it possible to isolate crops from pests and diseases found abroad, but if the appropriate phytosanitary measures are not implemented and these are introduced, it is likely that their development will be accelerated and their effects will be immediate, representing losses in the production.
And last, but not least, the commercialization of the crops obtained in greenhouses requires a secure market with marketing channels previously verified, since it is useless to obtain high yields if in the end the products will be sold at low prices or at Same cost of open field products. Remember that horticultural products such as flowers and vegetables are highly perishable, and that the longer they are stored, the lower their sales price will be due to the decrease in quality.
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Article Source: Tape Daily