With the crops being constantly exposed to unfavorable weather conditions, crop production is a challenging business. Weather and climate are extremely important factors for farmer’s success. They both determine the pace of crop production. Still, during times when the global food security strongly depends on crop production, there is no place for any limitations. Therefore, the search for solutions resulted in farm management practices that involve farming in a controlled environment. One of the most basic variations of farming in a controlled environment is a greenhouse farm management.
Simple Sheltered Structures that Protect the Yield
Greenhouse farming is a unique farm practice of growing crops within sheltered structures covered by a transparent, or partially transparent, material. This type of farm management provides favorable growing conditions and protects crops from unfavorable weather and various pests. There are various types of greenhouses which differ depending on the shape of the structure, lifespan, cover material, size, and farm management technology.
Few types of greenhouse structures, commonly used among the farmers include:
- Glasshouses; structures covered with glass
- Shade houses; covered with a woven or other material with gaps that allow sunlight, air, and moisture to pass
- Screen houses; covered with screening material that provides protection from pests and severe weather conditions, mostly practiced in hot or tropical areas
- Crop top structures; structures without walls, covered only with a roof
Choosing the right type of greenhouse structure will determine other aspects of greenhouse farm management, such as:
- The amount of sunlight
- The amount of natural ventilation
- The size of the farm
- Heating requirements
- Condensation run-off
- Efficiency of materials
The Best of Greenhouse Farming
The most powerful advantage of greenhouse farming is that it optimizes growing conditions and protects the crops from extreme weather events. That way, greenhouses enable efficient farm management and reduce risks caused by unfavorable weather conditions.
Additionally, some types of greenhouse farming structures (greenhouses with managed heating) prolong the growing season or even allow farmers to grow the crops outside of the typical season. Greenhouses that are additionally equipped offer the possibility to take complete control of growing conditions that lead to faster growth and higher yields.
“During times when the global #food #security depends on crop production, there is no place for any limitations.“
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Greenhouse farming is more appropriate on a smaller surface. For this reason, it’s limited to the production of vegetables, flowers, herbs, and small fruits, such as strawberries. Another disadvantage of greenhouse farming is the lack of pollination due to the enclosed structure. In addition to the aforementioned disadvantages, greenhouse farming is often criticized for being an expensive farm practice. However, the costs of greenhouse construction and maintenance depend exclusively on the type of greenhouse structure and farm management technology being used.
When everything is taken into consideration, greenhouses are definitely a promising farm management solution. Farmers who grow their crops in greenhouses have a special privilege to protect their crops from unfavorable weather and secure the yield. That way, farmers can face climate change and continue their noble job—feeding the world.
Text sources: NSW Government