A growing industry

Happy 25th Birthday to us and welcome to this Silver Anniversary issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Our first issue was published as a bi-monthly magazine in November/December 1991 – we look forward to the next 25 years!

By 2025, it is projected that worldwide, demand for food will increase by 100 per cent. In such a scenario, greenhouse horticulture gains importance, allowing as it does the production of crops at manageable temperatures, using minimal amounts of water. According to a recent industry report, crop production through greenhouse horticulture will help meet this rising demand for food, thus driving the growth of the global greenhouse horticulture market.

It is also predicted that by 2025, the global commercial greenhouse market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 9.1 per cent over the next decade to reach approximately $46.5 billion.

With 103 listed greenhouse vegetable producers, Australia is ranked fourth in the world: the US, with 509, is in first place, followed by the Netherlands, with 355 listed greenhouse-vegetable growing companies and Canada, with 207. Mexico (67), the UK (64), New Zealand (46), France (44), and Italy and Russia (both with 43) are ranked fifth to 10th, respectively.

Many industry experts believe that the Australian protected cropping industry, specifically the greenhouse and hydroponic industry, is at a point of change, and there is an opportunity to match it with the best in the world.

Hand-in-hand with global greenhouse growth is the advancement of greenhouse technologies, with interest in this area seen as a response to climate risk. Pursuits of increased yields, reduced CO2 emissions and water consumption plus consistent high quality produce are drivers in greenhouse design and technology innovations around the world.

In this issue we look at how one German greenhouse giant is using biomass as an alternative to natural gas to heat its greenhouses while in the UK, two prominent tomato growers have made the switch to 100 per cent LED lighting with resulting improved yield and quality of tomatoes year-round.

Closer to home we report on the official launch of Sundrop Farms’ world-first facility of climate controlled greenhouses in Port Augusta, South Australia – the AUD$200 million sustainable facility using solar power and desalinated seawater to grow tomatoes across 20 hectares of greenhouses.

Enjoy this Silver Anniversary issue!


Christine Brown-Paul

November 2016 / Issue 173