ReduFuse IR – an excellent solution for many crops
Due to the hot summers in recent years, many growers have been reconsidering their coating systems. ReduFuse IR’s advance is striking. This coating is a better solution for many crops.
Poor fruit setting, lacklustre flower colouring, leaf burn, blossom-end rot and bumble bees that won’t leave their hives. This entire range of problems is caused by the summer’s heat. All of these problems result in a loss of production and reduced quality.
An understandable response is to reduce the excessive sunlight in the hottest summer months with a coating that reflects light and therefore reduces the heat. Depending on local conditions this may very well be the most sensible solution. However, often this approach can be finetuned. That means: managing light and reflecting heat. This way you take advantage of the crop’s maximum photosynthesis capacity, while preventing damage caused by heat radiation.
ReduFuse IR was precisely developed with this approach in mind. The coating evenly diffuses the PAR light throughout the crop. This eliminates any spots with bright light or shadows. Furthermore, the crop receives more light at the bottom, while the tip receives just a bit less. This results in a comfortable and uniform growing climate. At the same time ReduFuse IR reflects the heat radiation. This is the sunlight’s component that the crop cannot use for photosynthesis. It only heats up the crop with all of the associated consequences.
In conversations with their crop consultants and ReduSystems’ account manager, growers are looking for ways in which to deal with climate change. Below we outline developments for each crop.
This eliminates any spots with bright light or shadows.
In the past, tomato growers with artificial lighting in The Netherlands regularly opted for a thin layer of ReduSol to reflect light and heat during six to eight weeks in the summer. However, in recent years they have been achieving better results with ReduFuse IR. The crop stays greener, fruit setting improves and fruit quality is higher. When the new (lighted) crop is planted in the summer months, the young plants grow better. Under the diffuse heat reflecting coating, the vulnerable young plants do not experience any stress. This improves the crop and production in the autumn and winter.
Cucumber growers did not use any coating in the past, or they used ReduSol as an emergency measure. Last year, several farms -especially low greenhouses- switched to ReduFuse IR. These greenhouses have little buffer and, as a result, have difficulty accommodating changing weather conditions. The crop stayed greener and more vital in the summer, and production and quality stayed at a better level.
A diffuse coating is commonplace for sweet peppers. It is a sensitive crop that quickly goes out of control. A calm growing environment is recommended and a diffuse coating is very helpful in this respect. In some cases it may be necessary to use SprayChalk in the summer to further attenuate extremes. Growers of green peppers have switched more often to ReduFuse IR and the experiences are positive. The crop consequently stayed stronger and its use resulted in more constant production. Furthermore, there was less blossom-end rot on hot days. SprayChalk also proved to be necessary for extra protection in combination with ReduFuse IR during a heatwave.
Chrysanthemum growers make extensive use of ReduSol. Yet, there is a group of growers who are looking for ways to do things differently: take advantage of more light without incurring damage in the form of a lacklustre flower colour and short flower stems. Some growers are using ReduHeat to take advantage of the light, while at the same time preventing heat stress. However, the lower leaves then still don’t receive quite enough light. ReduFuse IR is a better solution. This coating ensures that the light penetrates deeper into the crop and at the same time prevents lacklustre colours by reflecting the excessive heat. A possible coating system is as follows: first ReduFuse IR to profit from the light, followed by a thin layer of ReduSol on top of this in the summer to avoid any damage.
This crop is able to withstand a great deal of light but gets quality problems with direct radiation. Due to the increasing heat, sometimes the greenhouse temperature can no longer be kept under control. With the use of ReduFuse IR you retain sufficient light, but at the same time you reflect the excess heat radiation. This way production stays up to par and the flower stems are of the proper length.
Haze factor mainly dependent on thickness of coating
Diffuse glass has a fixed haze factor. If you choose a diffuse coating it is possible to change the amount of light scatter, and hence haze, each year.
Light colour and intensity affect biological balance
Both pests and their natural enemies respond to the colour and intensity of light. This means that coatings can affect the biological balance in greenhouses.