Optimizing high-tech strawberry cultivation will have significant implications for both growers and consumers. Grodan, renowned for its growing media solutions, and Fluence, known as an innovator in LED horticultural lighting, have combined their expertise to explore the transformative possibilities for indoor strawberry cultivation. The opportunities for indoor year-round cultivation are significant, and both companies are looking to bring the benefits of year-round, fresh, high-quality strawberries to the growers and consumers.
"We are excited to partner with Fluence in this ground-breaking initiative. By leveraging our combined strengths in horticulture, we aim to uncover new methods that empower growers to grow high-quality strawberries more efficiently and sustainably" said Thomas Peters, Business Development manager at Grodan. “We are working on optimizing our irrigation management advice and creating structured user advice that will help growers to have a stable and continuous high-quality production.”
The trial started in August, and the researchers from Wageningen University & Research will focus on the effect of EC management on the growth, yield and quality of the everbearer cultivar Favori. The partnership seeks to provide data-driven insights using the GroSens sensors of Grodan that will redefine the way strawberries are irrigated. The plants used in this trial are fresh tips, propagated in stone wool growing media at EC 2, 3 and 4 mS/cm indoors on an ebb flood system with targeted irrigation. The grow-out trial will determine the effect of young plant quality on final yield.
"Working on a new and disruptive way of growing everbearing strawberries under LED lighting in collaboration with the leading substrate supplier in horticulture is a great opportunity for us,” said Leo Lansbergen, a member of the Fluence Horticulture Service Team in EMEA. “Using LED lighting is a perfect energy-saving solution for year-round crops and fits very well with a greenhouse strawberry crop in stone wool. Fluence has gathered years of knowledge and experience on strawberry research and we are excited to leverage those learnings in this trial.”
During the grow-out trial, various agronomic treatments will be investigated, including lighting, irrigation and climate management strategies. The results will give insights for the optimum cultivation conditions and yield. A number of events are planned to take place during 2023 and 2024 with the aim of transferring this knowledge towards growers and stakeholders in the industry.
Grodan is the global leader in supplying innovative, sustainable stone wool growing media solutions for the professional horticulture industry, based on Precision Growing principles. These solutions are applied to the cultivation of vegetables and flowers, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, egg plants, roses and gerberas. Sustainability plays a prominent role within Grodan, from the manufacture of stone wool substrates to recycling solutions. Grodan was founded in 1969 and is active in more than seventy countries worldwide. The head office is located in Roermond, the Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.grodan.com.
Fluence Bioengineering, Inc. (Fluence) creates powerful and energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial crop production and research applications. Fluence is a leading LED lighting supplier in the global cannabis market and is committed to enabling more efficient crop production with the world’s top vertical farms and greenhouse produce growers. Fluence global headquarters are based in Austin, Texas, with its EMEA headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Fluence operates as a business unit within Signify’s Digital Solutions Division. For more information about Fluence, visit: www.fluence-led.com.