Prolonged heat waves and other extreme weather events can seriously impact vegetable quality, reducing grower profit and interrupting supply. Low cost protective structures can potentially fill the gap between open field production and full controlled-environment production.
Why study this?
These structures allow plants a better chance of surviving the more frequent extreme weather events, delivering enhanced crop quality, enhanced pest and disease management and an extended growing season.
What was done
This project will evaluate the potential of low cost protected cropping through a desktop review, and then test the most promising methods in field trials. In the review phase, shade houses, floating row covers and portable structures are being evaluated.
Where to next?
The most promising of these options will be trialled on Australian farms over at least one season. Results will be communicated to growers and industry through field days, educational resources, and personalised consulting to interested growers.
For more information contact
Dr Gordon Rogers, Applied Horticultural Research Pty Ltd