Although the implementation of greenhouses represents broad advantages over open-field production, it is also true that it has its drawbacks. Since they are not free to cause some kind of impact on the environment. That is why it is necessary to know both sides of the coin. That’s why in this article, we will discover the advantages and disadvantages of greenhouses.
A greenhouse is made up of a metal or plastic structure covered by translucent materials to achieve maximum brightness inside. Inside this greenhouse, we will obtain artificial conditions that generate higher productivity at a minimum cost. It protects the plants or crops from environmental damage such as frost, strong winds, hail, insect pests, etc.
When deciding whether or not to build a greenhouse, there are several advantages and downsides to consider. And they will continue to flourish in the open field, as they do when they are seeking for agricultural investment opportunities.
ADVANTAGES OF GROWING PLANTS IN GREENHOUSES:
Regarding the advantages that the growth of plants grown under greenhouses presents, with respect to the cultivation of them in the open field, below we point out some of the most relevant:
1. PRODUCTION INTENSIFICATION:
Greenhouses Amherst NY are considered elements of intensive agriculture for several reasons. Firstly because it is possible to establish the conditions for the proper development of plants. Because there is certain isolation from the outside. Secondly, because more plants can be placed per unit area than in the open ground. And the last aspect is the possibility of using climate control facilities, which improve the cultivation conditions to an optimum point.
2. INCREASE IN YIELDS:
It has been proven that the yields per unit area of a crop are increased by 2 to 3 times under a greenhouse but in soil compared to open ground. And if hydroponics is used the yields can be several times those obtained from the weather, being able to get to be 10 times higher if the necessary care is invested.
3. LOWER PRODUCTION RISK:
If climate change is natural or induced by man, it is not a case to deal with here. But it must be recognized that it affects everything equally, including crop production. Because the crops are protected by structures such as greenhouses, it minimizes the damage that they may suffer due to the random nature of natural phenomena.
4. 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 loss of money. The same happens with water since the modern installations of irrigation systems allow its more efficient use. In this sense, I refer to localized or precision irrigation (drip, micro-sprinkler and nebulization).
5. GREATER CONTROL OF PESTS, WEEDS, AND DISEASES:
To control of pests, diseases & weeds, greenhouses must have been correctly designed and built. Being in this sense where many of them fail, since the hermeticity of the same is the key to successful control. In addition, the cultivation in greenhouses facilitates the programming of the applications. Being that it is possible to control who has access to the cultivation.
6. POSSIBILITY OF CULTIVATING 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. In this way, when using greenhouses buffalo NY, it is feasible to produce without interruptions.
7. OBTAINING OFF-SEASON PRODUCTS:
Because we produce all year in greenhouses, there is also the benefit of obtaining crops that are not in season. Due to the absence of competition, it is easy to discover better marketing markets. Because the markets are not saturated as occurs in the peak season production. For this, it is necessary to know the times so the products are marketed avoiding high competition.
8. OBTAINING PRODUCTS IN REGIONS WITH RESTRICTIVE CONDITIONS:
Environmental conditions are not always suitable for the establishment of crops. So with the help of greenhouses, it is possible to take advantage of the extensions of land where production is very difficult. Because the water can be used to the maximum and only the necessary elements are given to the plants for their development. Inside a greenhouse, the plants enjoy some isolation from the outside.
9. OBTAINING HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCTS:
Inside a greenhouse, the plants are not exposed to physical wear and tear produced by environmental elements such as rain and strong winds, hailstorms or high solar radiation, which is why the quality of the products obtained is higher, demonstrated both in their presentation to the final consumer and its internal composition. This allows obtaining greater profits when selling our products, or finding better markets, being able to export if high quality is obtained.
10. GREATER COMFORT AND SAFETY:
Inside a greenhouse, not only the plants are protected, because the workers also find shelter from inclement weather. And in the open field, it is more feasible to suffer from solar radiation that causes high temperatures. Inside the greenhouse, previously programmed cultivation activities can be carried out without the weather being an obstacle to leaving them for another day.
11. IDEAL CONDITIONS FOR RESEARCH:
Greenhouses, mainly those that have automatic control of environmental variables, allow studying the behavior of production elements without them being subjected to the distorting influence of climatic factors. Thus, it is possible to study the productive potential, according to the genetic information, of the cultivated species and determine the optimal factors for their development. This aspect becomes relevant in schools of agronomy and institutes dedicated to carrying out research on the development and behavior of agricultural plants and crops.
DISADVANTAGES OF GROWING PLANTS IN GREENHOUSES:
There are some disadvantages in the construction and management of greenhouses, which must be taken into account and thus be prepared to face or minimize the negative effects.
However, it is easy to get carried away by the positive points that these structures offer us and undertake a project without even having stopped to analyze the negative issues, which also exist. For this reason, below we will make an analysis of the main inconveniences that one can face when deciding to start a production in which the construction of greenhouses is planned. This is not with the aim of discouraging projects of this nature, but quite the opposite, since the knowledge of the possible weaknesses will allow us to pay more attention to them to avoid the failure of the company.
1. HIGH INITIAL INVESTMENT:
Greenhouses are structures that have a relatively high construction cost. Therefore the initial investment required is high and the main objective of the producer should be to recover this expense. This is why it is only advisable to use them to produce crops of high economic value. Such as some vegetables and ornamentals since they are not economically justified for basic crops or with little commercial value. The investment to be made to build greenhouses is relatively high.
2. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE STRUCTURES:
A greenhouse must be designed and built based on various aspects, among which the environmental conditions & the climatic requirements of the crop. In this way, the fact of not identifying the type of structure that the project requires implies more expenses in the future to recondition the spaces.
3. HIGH PRODUCTION COSTS:
The operating costs in a greenhouse are higher than in the open field. This is logical because there are much higher costs due to the fact of providing the crop with the ideal conditions. 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 you have high temperatures and you want to cool the environment; just to mention a few examples.
4. HIGH LEVEL OF TRAINING:
Inside the greenhouses, the workers are completely responsible for the plants. For this reason, workers must be constantly trained so that they can be prepared for any inconvenience that may arise. This training implies higher production costs.
5. OPTIMAL CONDITIONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PATHOGENS:
One of the objectives of greenhouses is to keep plants in optimal conditions for their development. Therefore, implies that pathogens will enjoy the same advantages. It is true that these structures allow us to isolate crops from pests and diseases found abroad. But if the appropriate phytosanitary measures are not implemented and these are introduced, it is most likely that their development will be accelerated and their effects will be immediate, representing losses. in the production.
6. MARKET DEPENDENCE:
Last but not least, the commercialization of crops obtained in greenhouses requires having a secure market with previously verified commercialization channels, since it is useless to obtain high yields if in the end the products will be sold at low prices or at the same cost of open field products. Let us remember that horticultural products such as flowers and vegetables are highly perishable and that the longer they are kept in storage, their sale price will be lower due to the decrease in quality.