Breaking Boundaries: Continual strawberry yields defy winter dormancy in ground-breaking trial by Grodan and Fluence at Wageningen University & Research

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Grodan in collaboration with Fluence. Bleiswijk, the Netherlands (March 4, 2024)—Grodan and Fluence, leading horticultural solution providers, today announce the mid-term results of their ground-breaking trial at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. The trial started in August 2023 and aimed at transforming year-round, high-tech hydroponic ever bearing strawberry cultivation during winter. The innovative use of stone wool growing media and cutting-edge LED technology not only created exceptional plant development, yield, and quality in strawberries, but also kept the plants out of dormancy.

This partnership achieved an outstanding yield, producing more than 11 kg/m1 fresh produce (6 plants per linear meter) and 10.2 kg/m2 (5.2 plants/m2) from planting 22nd August 2023 to 28th of February 2024. These mid-term results highlight the added value for transitioning the way high-tech greenhouse strawberries are cultivated, maximizing the benefits of Controlled Environment Agriculture.

Moreover, it is a superb achievement that the strawberry plants maintained their active growth and stayed out of dormancy during the dark Dutch winter season. This significant milestone brings us one step closer to establishing a year-round high-tech strawberry cultivation method.

Thomas Peters, Business Development manager at Grodan, is enthusiastic about the results:

“This trial has not only yielded exceptional strawberry fruits but has also deepened our understanding of irrigation, climate and lighting management. We are impressed by the remarkable feat of keeping our high-tech strawberries thriving without entering dormancy during the winter – a common characteristic in traditional cultivation. This ground-breaking news adds to our goal of advancing strawberry cultivation, paving the way for a future where year-round ever bearing strawberry production is not just a goal but a reality.”

“The collaboration with Grodan brought outstanding results, indicating the potential of our joint forces to transform commercial strawberry production. Our collective aim is to generate knowledge on sustainable, efficient, and high-tech practices that will not only meet current market demands but also set new benchmarks for the future of commercial strawberry production.” says Gert-Jan Goes, Horticulture Service Specialist at Fluence. “The combination of the irrigation and climate management and our advanced LED technology has not only met but exceeded our expectations, showcasing the potential to shift from traditional growing practices to innovative and high-tech.”

“This experience not only confirms our goal to push the boundaries of what’s possible but also proves that controlled environment agriculture can improve and revolutionise the way we grow strawberries.” adds Thomas Peters.
As part of our ongoing research collaboration, Grodan and Fluence are planning more joined activities to share knowledge and information about the approaches, challenges and successes experienced in the high-tech strawberry production trial.

About Grodan
Grodan is the global leader in supplying soilless rootzone management solutions for Controlled Environment Agriculture. These solutions are applied to the cultivation of vegetables, medicinal crops and flowers. Grodan was founded in 1969 and is active in more than seventy countries worldwide. The head office is located in Roermond, the Netherlands. 

About Fluence
Fluence Bioengineering, Inc. (Fluence) creates powerful and energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial crop production and research applications. Fluence is a leading LED lighting supplier in the global cannabis, produce and flower markets, committed to enabling more efficient crop production for the world’s top greenhouse and indoor growers. Fluence global headquarters are in Austin, Texas, with its EMEA headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Fluence operates as a business unit within Signify’s Professional Business. 

 

TrendForce 2024 Global LED Lighting Market Analysis
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