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Oct 02

Rudy’s Blog – October 2, 2014

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 Blog by Rudy OuwerslootIC_interlighting_HID_HR

Come by our Booth at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference to see the modules in action and discuss the opportunities for your business

Philips Inter-lighting on Tomato and Cucumber Greenhouse Crops

Some Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers are starting to experiment with LED Lighting on Tomato and Cucumber crops. Research in Europe and Japan has proven that LED Inter-lighting is a viable, profitable option for the industry.  Although Ontario growers are ready to invest in new technology, true to most farmers, nobody wants to be the first to take the plunge with such a large investment until it has been proven at the commercial level and scale.  This year a few growers are starting with their own trails and the results will be closely monitored by Philips Horticulture Lighting.  Doug Marlow M.Sc.(Hort.), Business Development Manager with Philips, will be working closely with the growers and collecting data that will be shared with the industry.

Traditional HPS Top lighting has been long proven to be effective for increasing the production of cucumbers and allowing tomato growers to produce during the dark winter months. The high cost of electricity and in some areas the availability of electricity, has forced the growers to look for alternatives.

The efficiency and the low- heat characteristic of LED and Philips innovative idea of inter-lighting all combine with getting the necessary light levels to where the plant needs it most in order to promote growth and increased production.

Paul Boers Manufacturing is excited to be involved with some of the smaller trails and also the first large scale LED inter-lighting project in Ontario.  Working closely with Philips and the grower we were able to develop an innovative plan that although is a large capital investment, that normally is intimating for farmers and bankers, will see a relatively fast return on investment!

Key to return on investment is not only the increased production but also the marketing value.  The grower will now be able to supply tomatoes to his client base all year! The traditional growing method of replanting in December / January forced his client to import tomatoes for those months and the consumers noticed the change in quality.

The increased Tomato production estimate that we are confident about, using the Philips double-line of LED Inter-lights is between 16% and 20%.   This is based on the increased number of mols of light applied to the crop and the goal is to create the conditions whereby we can have the opportunity for winter production.  The yield potential and higher sales value potential, aside from additional light, is also a function of planting date, internal available sunlight (roof transmission) and optimisation of the growing conditions (irrigation and climate).  Having said this, we are very confident that the amount of LED Inter-lighting that we supplement with will have the ability to produce a strong, healthy crop during the winter as supplemental to the sunlight you receive.

Presently Philips LED Top Lighting is not available in North America. Further testing is being in done in Europe before they launch Top Lighting in North America. To date all testing is looking very interesting and all indications are that with the additional top lighting, production numbers increase even further.

Myself and Sam Shroyer are monitoring the test results in Europe and will be sharing the information with our client base so we can continue to be one step ahead of the industry revolution in LED lighting!

Paul Boers Manufacturing has also been working closely with the electricity suppliers in Ontario  to help growers take advantage of the saveONenergy program. This program has benefited the growers with a large incentive rebate.  This grant money only adds to the return on investment!

Call us and we will arrange a consolation where we can  prepare  for you a  complete  business plan based on projected production,  capital costs, and return on investment, ready for you to discuss with your accounting team.

Rudy – Cell Phone 905-933-6052 (Canada)

Sam – Cell Phone 563-663-5323 (USA)