Everybody knows that the future entirely belongs to agriculture. Yet, agriculture is getting no focus because it is no longer seen as a desirable career. Of late, farmers are shifting their farming professions to other professions because of insufficient financial protection. The farmers' income entirely depends on the climatic changes happening in the environment.
The idea of growing plants effectively in environmentally controlled locations, famously known as greenhouse farming, existed since the Roman era. The Roman emperor Tiberius used to consume a cucumber-like vegetable every day. So, the roman gardeners used several artificial methods (similar to greenhouse agriculture) to make that one cucumber available for the emperor every day for the entire year.
More than 95% of farmers in India still use the traditional farming methods, which does not allow them to earn a good amount of money for their family's well-being. Such farmers need to know about greenhouse farming to get the maximum out of the potential benefits of greenhouse farming. Also, if you are planning to set up a new business and think of a greenhouse agriculture business anyway, then stay on the page to get detailed insight into greenhouse farming.
Before we talk about greenhouse farming, it is essential to know about the greenhouse.
What is a Greenhouse?
A greenhouse, also known as a glasshouse, has walls & roofs made of transparent & translucent glass to grow plants in regulated climatic conditions.
The greenhouse's interior is exposed to sunlight, which makes it warmer from the inside than the external temperature, protecting all of its plants from several environmental changes. The greenhouse practice has already developed a lot of popularity over the past years, and one can do it in two ways, a partially controlled one or a fully controlled environment based on the plants you grow.
Greenhouses make use of greenhouse technology designed to provide favourable climatic conditions to the plants to let them grow. The greenhouse technology holds significant importance for the areas where there are extreme climatic conditions like heavy rainfall or harsh sun. You have the freedom to control ventilation, humidity, light and temperature within a greenhouse.
What is Greenhouse Farming?
Greenhouse farming refers to growing fruits and vegetables in a climate controlled environment controlling all aspects of growing plants like temperature, humidity and external conditions. Agriculture is a challenging business with crops being presented to unfavourable environmental conditions. Greenhouse Farming allows the farmers to produce quality fruits and vegetables all around the year, resulting in increased performance and yields with less labour and resource costs.
Benefits of Greenhouse Farming That Will Make You Fall In Love With The Scope Of A Career In Agriculture
Greenhouse agriculture is a beneficial solution that helps a farmer improve his productivity and profitability in countries with harsh climates. There are several benefits of greenhouse farming that will make you fall in love with the scope of a career in agriculture in this developing world.
Increased Crop Production
Greenhouse agriculture helps in increasing crop production because you have the freedom to control the optimal environmental conditions to grow more plants per square foot than producing the same in an open field. Also, you can increase the high-quality crop production for different export markets to get better profits.
Reduced Production Risks
Greenhouse farming is carried out within a protected environment and prevents the plants from external environmental damage. Also, it keeps all the crops away from any birds, rodents and other animals that might harm the crop.
Studies related to greenhouse agriculture suggest that total profit per crop per square foot increases to almost 2 to 3 times and in some cases even 10 times can be achieved in comparison to open field cultivation. This is because you efficiently use the resources in a greenhouse, which helps you create less waste, resulting in more significant profits.
Pest and Disease Preventions
Greenhouse farming keeps your crops away from problems like pests by offering added safety and control over other diseases. The enclosed greenhouse space is restricted to staff entry, and fewer people have a lesser risk of unwanted diseases.
Increased Stability with Greenhouse Farming
Greenhouse farming does not get affected by external environmental conditions. Thus, greenhouse agriculture allows you to make regular incomes with the increased stability the greenhouse offers.
Grow Plants Round The Year
Greenhouse farming allows you to grow the crops all around the year using the independently climate-controlled area known as a greenhouse. You will be able to grow high-quality crops even in the harsh winter or intense summer heat because you have the necessary technology.
Know About Different Types of Greenhouses Before You Start With Greenhouse Farming
The types of greenhouses are classified based on the covering material, shape and structure, environmental control and cost.
Greenhouses Based on Covering Material
Covering material in a greenhouse is the most crucial component. They directly influence the greenhouse effect within the structure as they work to alter the air temperature within the greenhouse. The greenhouses based on the covering materials are classified as:
Glass greenhouses have glass as a covering material as they offer greater interior light intensity. In addition, such greenhouses provide a high air filtration rate leading to lower internal humidity and improved diseases prevention. Lean-to-type, even span, furrow and ridge type designs are used for glass greenhouses construction.
Plastic Film Greenhouses
Flexible plastic films include polyester, polyethene, and polyvinyl chloride as the covering material as this type of greenhouse covering is comparatively cheap. The heating cost is also less compared to the glass greenhouses. Quonset and gutter-connected designs work best with plastic film coverings.
Rigid Panel Greenhouses
Rigid panel greenhouses are polyvinyl chloride rigid panels, acrylic and polycarbonate rigid panels, or fiberglass re-enforced rigid panels are set as a covering material in the furrow or Quonset type frames. The rigid panel greenhouses are more resistant to breakage and offer uniform light intensity throughout the greenhouse compared to plastic or glass greenhouses.
Greenhouses Based on Construction
The type of greenhouse construction largely depends on the size of the greenhouse span. The higher the span, the more challenging material is required to build the greenhouse.
Wooden Framed Structure
Wooden framed structures are used for the greenhouses with less than 6m only. Side columns and posts are constructed using wood without using a truss. Pinewood 8 wood is commonly used in greenhouse farming as it is budget-friendly and holds excellent strength.
Truss Framed Structures
If the span of the greenhouse is greater than or equal to 15 m, then the truss framed structures are used in such types of greenhouse agriculture. Tubular steel, flat steel, or angular iron are welded together to create a truss that encompasses chords, struts and rafters.
Pipe Framed Structures
If you want to carry out greenhouse farming in a greenhouse having a span of 9m, the pipe framed structures are used. Pipes form the columns, side posts, purlins and cross ties.
Greenhouse Based on Utility
The greenhouse classification is also made based on the utilities or functions. Greenhouses can be designed based on two different utilities: artificial cooling and artificial heating.
Greenhouses for Artificial Heating
During the night, the air temperature within a greenhouse decreases. Therefore, to avoid the plants catching a cold, some amount of heat must be supplied to the plants. The requirement of heating the greenhouse entirely depends on how the greenhouse loses its heat. Different methods are used to carry better greenhouse farming in such greenhouses for maintaining heat, such as using double-layer polyethene, thermopane glasses, or heating systems like radiant heat, central heat, unit heaters, or solar heating systems.
Greenhouses for Artificial Cooling
When it's the time of summer, the temperatures of the greenhouses need to be reduced to carry effective crop growth. Thus, required modifications are made to allow large volumes of cooled air to enter greenhouses for better greenhouse farming. Such greenhouses consist of an evaporating cooling pad that contains fog cooling or fan cooling.
Types of Greenhouses Based on Shapes
Different types of greenhouse structures carry different sorts of greenhouse farming within. However, every kind of greenhouse has something to benefit you as not even a single kind of greenhouse is considered best for carrying greenhouse agriculture. Every greenhouse type is designed to suit different requirements. The different types of greenhouses based on their shapes are classified as below:
Even span type
Uneven span type
Ridge and furrow type
Ground to ground
Interlocking ridges and furrow type quonset
Before starting with greenhouse farming, you need to know about greenhouses and their types in detail listed above for your reference. But, first, let us discuss the crops you can grow with greenhouse farming.
Crops To Grow With Greenhouse Plantation
Greenhouse plantation allows you to grow several fruits, vegetables and flowers. However, you need to choose warmth-loving plants if you think of greenhouse farming.
Steps To Select The Right Construction Site For Greenhouse Farming
Greenhouse agriculture is set with high expenditures on equipment, infrastructure, labour, and raw material. Although this greenhouse farming is generally a one-time heavy investment and you need to consider the below-given points to do to choose the perfect greenhouse according to your needs:
The greenhouse site you choose should have no shadow
The ph of the soil needs to be in the range of 5.5 to 6.5
Before choosing the greenhouse site, check if the site is a well-drained area and is a place with no water logging issues
Ensure to not build a greenhouse near the industrial area to protect them effectively from unnecessary pollution
The greenhouse site you choose should be accessible through various transport modes for quick reaching availability
Does Greenhouse Farming Create Any Problems?
Greenhouse agriculture is carried out in micro-ecosystems where you have the freedom to control the environment. Yet, some problems might arise, like the plants suffering from nutrients deficiency or possessing excess nutrients. To keep a regular check on the plants, the regular soil check is significant to give the plants enough nutrition if they are lacking any.
Greenhouse farming in India is also known as Polyhouse farming because the mainly used material for constructing greenhouses in India is polyethene. Also, polyethene greenhouses are cheaper than glass greenhouses. However, the average greenhouse cost for 1 acre in India is around 40-45 lakhs which is enormous. So, you need to make wise decisions for setting up greenhouse plantations before you get started with greenhouse farming.
Greenhouse farming is a fantastic solution if you are thinking of growing crops that need more care than others and require a little extra warmth, protection from pests and diseases, and safety from harsh environmental conditions. In addition, greenhouse plantation allows you to enjoy several benefits of greenhouse farming, like growing crops even in the offseason, growing crops specifically for export, and growing crops that do not sustain in the local climates.
Greenhouse agriculture offers you a golden opportunity to grow profit margins by playing the game of demand and supply effectively. If you are planning for setting greenhouse plantation, then go ahead to contact the technical support team of Agriplast Protected Cultivation Private Limited. The company wants to make greenhouse farming or polyhouse farming better in India with new innovative solutions. It's time to solve all of your doubts related to the field of polyhouse farming to make better and more intelligent decisions for your future ahead.
Greenhouses are a more thoughtful way to earn huge profits. Agriplast Protected Cultivation Private Limited aims to develop better designed polyhouses for you to carry on the greenhouse plantation business effectively.