In the Netherlands, computers are replacing traditional gardeners' instinct in the country's thriving horticultural industry.?
In the Netherlands, computers are replacing traditional gardeners' instinct in the country's thriving horticultural industry. A good example is the Naaldwejk garden produce research centre in Southern Holland.
In??? a city of glass where many different kinds of fruit and vegetables are carefully nurtured in green houses by an elaborate system of gauges, tubes, wires and computers.
Researchers use the computers to help them find the ideal conditions to grow the highest quality and quantity of produce. To do this the plants are subjected to varying conditions of ventilation, heating, irrigation and soil fertilization.
For the climatic studies, the computers monitor the weather conditions outside the greenhouse. A web of underground cables also feeds readings into the computers on the conditions inside the greenhouse....soil temperature, plant temperature, relative humidity and air temperature.
The computers can be set to achieve specific conditions inside the green houses depending on what it is the researchers are trying to find out. For instance, if temperatures are too high and humidity too low, the leaves can become dry and the fruit will not develop properly.
The researchers are also able to use their growing knowledge to com??? plant diseases. They've learned for instance that aubergines which have been attacked by a white fly can be restores to health by introducing the harmless ichneumon fly.
Researchers are also developing plant vaccines. Much like human vaccines, they are developed from the juices of a diseased plant are spread on other plants to make them immune.
The keen interest in horticulture in the Netherlands is a natural one. About 80 percent of the country's garden produce is exported. Most of that.... about 72 percent....is made up of vegetables. Twenty percent is made up of flowers. Fruit constitutes eight percent. Most produce goes to West Germany, but significant amounts are also exported to Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries.
SYNOPSIS: This is a garden research centre in Naaldwejk in the Netherlands...one of the many throughout the country in which modern technology is rapidly replacing traditional gardeners' instinct. With computers, researchers are learning to grow more and better produce.
They use the computers to subject plants to varying conditions of ventilation, heating, irrigation and fertilization. Outside weather conditions and interior green house conditions are monitored and fed into a computer...as many as one million readings a day. Close checks on such things as relative humidity, air and plant temperature, soil temperature, carbon dioxide content....all factors suggesting an overall picture to the researcher. He can results those figures to plant health.
With those results either presented on a monitor screen as a curve....or printed out, the researcher can devise now approaches to maximise quality and quantity growth. He can also apply the data in a fight against plant disease.
The Aubergines are an example. They've been attacked by a white fly which causes a fungus. Researchers have learned to restore plant health by introducing another, harmless fly which destroys the invaders' eggs.
Their work has also led to the development of plant vaccines. These tobacco leaves are receiving an application of juice from a diseased plant. Like a human vaccine, it will give them an immunity. The Dutch interest in research is a natural one. The Netherlands exports eighty percent of its produce...most of that vegetables and flowers. It goes mainly to West Germany, but to Britain and Scandinavia as well.