Ton van Kessel

Absolute humidity strategy at FIT Berlin gives new understanding in dehumidifying glasshouses

The Fachinformationstage (FIT)* 2023 was held in Berlin from 26 to 28 September. Growers and managers from German, Austrian and Swiss glasshouse horticulture companies were invited to attend. This year’s event was attended by more than 50 horticulturalists. It is a great event to exchange knowledge and experiences and discuss developments in the German horticulture sector. The event was led by Prof. Fritz-Gerard Schroder. 

I was asked to give a presentation about humidity management in glasshouses. It was a good opportunity to draw the growers’ attention to absolute humidity (AH) strategies. Several presentations mentioned the problem of humidity in glasshouses caused by glasshouses being closed, the use of several screens, lower energy input, LED lighting, and sealed windows.

The best strategy in dealing with absolute humidity lies in optimising the balance between the glasshouse temperature and the plant temperature. Knowing the key indicators can reduce and improve humidity problems in glasshouses. It struck me during my presentations at the FIT that most attendees did not know about climate control based on AH. Many still thought in terms of relative humidity (RH) and humidity deficit (HD). I believe that they are missing out now that technologies that exchange outside and inside air to adjust the AH are available and are being introduced in glasshouses. 

This thus calls for a different way of thinking and acting in working towards obtaining healthy and productive crops.

I would like to express my gratitude to the organisers for a wonderful and educational event. Organising meetings like the FIT helps strengthen the horticulture sector and support entrepreneurs in further developing their companies in terms of horticulture practice.

*The Fachinformationstage is an initiative of five companies: Koppert, Grodan, Gipmans, Mertens and Rijk Zwaan. The event involves visits to companies and presentations on subjects such as: glasshouses as a source of energy; developments in German horticulture; and, optimising glasshouse screen strategies.

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