4 Effective Tips For Commercial Greenhouse Management

China, India, and the United States have the highest percentage of arable land and count among the top agricultural-yielding nations of the world. Most regions of the world face erratic climate conditions, which naturally limit natural vegetation and plant propagation. In winter plants naturally are dormant but extreme winters are causing a lot of damage as there is not sufficient nutrition in their cells to survive further. This has been the case ever since climate changes are extreme evidently because of global warming. 

Even choosing hardy perennial variants will not be enough as there is no guarantee that they will overcome the sub-freezing negative degree temperature. Setting up well-insulated and prepped greenhouse rolling benches in those climate-controlled farms and gardens is one of the best answers to this burgeoning issue. A greenhouse is a transparent structure constructed with materials like glass or polycarbonate. It can be partly or completely automated where plants are protected from external climate atrocities.  With technology, not only can we provide the beneficial conditions for plant growth, we can produce multifold times through a single acre in comparison to a normal crop yield in an open farm. 

Depending on the size of the farm and budget, a greenhouse can be either automated completely or partially. Though technology will incur capital costs, the revenue substantiates the expense as one can break even in a short time. However, before executing a greenhouse for farming, it is recommended to know a few details and get some checks ticked. Here are some important points that one needs to know about greenhouses:

  • Technology

The technology used for greenhouses can be as minimal as ultraviolet films for protecting plants or as complicated as sensor-aided climate control that can maintain the ideal growing conditions for the plants. Ideally, you can categorize the technology used as a low, medium, or high-tech greenhouse where the capital costs are directly and maintenance costs inversely proportional to the level of technology used. 

A low-tech greenhouse is ideal in normal zones where plants grow well but are facing trouble because of global warming. It can be used for nursery plants and seedlings in these areas so that plants survive the first few weak weeks and are ready to be transplanted after a well-developed rootstock. Semi-automatic greenhouses can be classified as medium-tech, where the sensors will send an alert to increase or decrease heat or light, and manually the switches are operated. In a hi-tech greenhouse, the staff is involved in research and development, as all other repetitive and manual work is carried out by a robotic machine. 

  • Material & Structure

The glass looks elegant for a greenhouse but is not functional for large farmers. It can be used for home gardens and aesthetic purposes in biodiversity parks using greenhouses to show different varieties of plants that are not native to the local region. Polycarbonate sheets are the most widely used films for coverage that give the same impact as glass for a greenhouse. 

There are several designs and structures of a greenhouse based on the frame, size, and shape. The functionality of a greenhouse for large commercial farms and the technology level that will be incorporated will decide the possible designs that can be commissioned. Since there is a considerable cost involved, it is recommended to conclude a thorough consultation with an expert in the field. There are other factors like the tenacity of the winds in the region, which will require further support if the velocity and direction of wind are strong. The structure should be able to survive a few years of wind pressure, and snow.

  • Maintenance

Hi-tech does not come with a no-maintenance tag albeit it is low-maintenance. The fans, humidifiers, automated rolling shade screens, thermal curtains, grow lights, etc, are equipment, and they come with an expiry date. General wear and tear will slow the machines if not checked. Fans have motors that usually give up after a few RPMs. Likewise, sensors stop functioning after being in use for a while. If these devices are not serviced and replaced when it is not feasible to repair them any further, then a part or whole of the greenhouse operations are impacted. In the worst case scenarios, if the problem persists, crop yields will be impacted and cause financial loss for the establishment. The maintenance of these places should be carried out regularly, and checks have to be recorded to ensure that there is no lapse or oversight. 

  • Due Diligence

The expense of establishing a sizable greenhouse is capital in nature and is quite a handsome amount. However, most banks offer a loan for greenhouse farms as it helps the regional economy when fresh locally grown produce is available for consumption. It is advisable to check different companies and pay visits to working farms that have recently established a greenhouse or amped up their existing one. When you go on these trips, you will encounter information that was not on your list but was important. 

After research and planning, you can use the credit line to commission a greenhouse company to execute your project. Also, remember that all these efforts will be down the drain if your marketing is not strong. It is recommended to showcase your produce on social media and local farmer’s markets. You can also establish a shop attached to the greenhouse facing the main road, so that people passing by stop, buy, and take note of the wonderful produce available at your greenhouse. 

Conclusion:

The catch-twenty situation of agriculture is that it can not be wholly treated as a business where hard decisions are taken to retain margins. At the end of the day, it is food and nourishment that billions of people and livestock depend on through farm produce. So, while nations are grappling with best policy practices for farm growth, it has to be understood that the rest of the stuff, like maintenance and timely actions, will always remain paramount for the success of a greenhouse.