A new technology in greenhouse construction will help growers remain competitive in the market, says the government of Canada.
The feds, who are investing in the technology, announced that the technology will maximize energy efficiency and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.
On behalf of Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz, Blaine Calkins announced that Doef’s Greenhouses in Lacombe, Alta. will receive $2.2 million in repayable funding to build a new five-acre greenhouse.
“This project represents a remarkable advance in greenhouse systems in cold climates and will be the first commercial installation of the system in North America,” says Calkins.
What makes it innovative
The project will include the installation of a Vertifan vertical air circulation system, an innovative new greenhouse technology from the Netherlands.
The system rotates air from the top of the greenhouse and distributes it under the crops to maintain targeted temperature and humidity levels that helps the plants grow better.
It will also incorporate shade screens and innovative diffused glass that will allow for improved climate control, energy savings and optimal plant growth by shielding plants from overexposure to harsh light on sunny days and on dark and wet days will allow more of the plants to be exposed to the available light.
The project is expected to create 17 jobs and generate $4 million in annual demand for greenhouse vegetables by its third year.
Joe Doef, president of Doef’s Greenhouses, says the investment and the project put the company “in a strong position to provide fresh top-quality produce to loyal local consumers year round and replace imported produce in current and expanding markets.”
Funding comes from the Agri-Opportunities Program, which focuses on new innovative agri-products, processes or services that are currently not commercially produced or available in Canada and that are ready to be introduced into the marketplace.