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Influence of different heating systems on the development, production and quality of a tomato crop

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Authors: P. Marín, D.L. Valera, F.D. Molina-Aiz, A. López, L.J. Belmonte, M.A. Moreno
Issue: 112-4 (375-391)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Greenhouse, climate control, crops

Due to the influence of temperature on all aspects of greenhouse plant development, heating systems can be used to increase both production and greenhouse efficiency, even in mild climates. In addition, the type of greenhouse has an impact on the microclimate inside, and thus on crop quality and yield. The aim of the experiment was to analyse and compare the effect of two heating systems and natural ventilation in two different types of greenhouses on plant development, fruit quality and total yield, taking into account the fuel and electricity consumption. The experiments were carried out in three multi-tunnel greenhouses and one Almería-type greenhouse over the autumn-winter period in two agricultural seasons. Differences in yield were only observed when the crop was exposed to temperatures below 8ºC for long periods, showing a better performance of heated greenhouses. However, the fuel costs of the heating systems were not offset by the increase in yield. Differences in both fruit quality and final yield were observed depending on the type of greenhouse, showing the best results in multi-tunnel greenhouses.

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