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Plant Lighting: from neighbours to solid research partners

For a few years, they were good neighbours, who found enough common ground to jointly develop an affordable photosynthesis sensor. At one point, Sendot and Plant Lighting both moved to larger business premises. Strong cooperation remained. “Sendot is specialised in plant sensors, we have a lot of knowledge about plants,” says director Sander Hogewoning. “By working closely together, we both achieve more.”

Handy and affordable
Hogewoning looks back with pleasure on the development process of Sendot’s photosynthesis efficiency sensor. A multidisciplinary team with specialists from both companies worked on it for many months.

“We have had advanced photosynthesis measuring equipment for some time, but such a device is far too complex and too expensive for flexible use in horticultural practice,” explains the scientist. “Sendot wanted to develop a handy, affordable version that growers can use themselves. The development should start from their existing technology to measure chlorophyll fluorescence. A handy photosynthesis sensor would also be useful for us, because there is a great demand for a flexible research tool on location.” A development project was born.

More efficient lighting and dosing of CO2
The photosynthesis efficiency sensor that was developed is tested in Phalaenopsis cultivation. Orchids store CO2 at night (dark period) to use it the next day (light period). The critical moment of the day, when almost all stored CO2 has been used, is easy to determine with a photosynthesis efficiency sensor. The efficiency decreases rapidly.2 to consume it the next day (light period) during photosynthesis. The critical moment of the day, when almost all stored CO2 has been used up, is easy to determine with a photosynthesis efficiency sensor. The efficiency with which the light is used for the ETR then decreases rapidly.

“Phalaenopsis, compared to most other plants works the other way around. The orchid “absorbs” CO2 during the day and converts it directly into assimilates,” says Hogewoning. “The photosynthesis measurement is interesting for Phalaenopsis growers because it allows them to optimize their lighting and CO2 dosing. After all, full lighting makes no sense when the plant has limited CO2 available. Moreover high light intensities can harm the plant instead. It is, therefore, better to regulate the lighting down or switch it off. An additional advantage is that this will save costs. “Take 2 and convert it directly into assimilates,” says Hogewoning. “What makes the ETR measurement interesting for Phalaenopsis growers is that it allows them to optimize their lighting and CO2 dosing. After all, full lighting with Phalaenopsis makes no sense if the plant no longer has CO2 in stock. And high intensities of daylight can damage the plant earlier. As soon as the light utilization in the plant decreases, it is, therefore, better to switch the lighting back or to turn it off. It also saves costs.”

Fram lab to practise
Prototypes of the new measuring instrument were tested in the Plant Lighting research facility. “The technology turned out to work fine in our climate cells,” says Hogewoning. “We critically tested and benchmarked this with high-level equipment. Multiple orchid growers are already working with it and that is good to hear.”

Plant Lighting and Sendot will use various photosynthesis efficiency sensors in a trial research project for instance with aubergines. “To gain insights into unexplained stress reactions, we have to zoom in on photosynthesis,” explains the plant scientist.

Accessible to many
He also plans to make use of other Sendot sensors, such as the oxygen sensor that can be inserted into substrates. “We have not worked with oxygen sensors before, but it is a useful control instrument for keeping research and growth parameters constant. Growers however will mainly use such an instrument to optimize watering. ”

Hogewoning observes that sensors are increasingly being used more widely and more intensively in high-tech greenhouse horticulture. “Predictable and reliable production is becoming increasingly important, especially in food horticulture. In floriculture, more attention is also being paid to the added value of sensors. Sendot is a very interesting party in that regard. Not only because of technological innovation, but also because this company makes them accessible to many. ”

Insights anytime and anywhere
The researcher says he also finds Sendot’s Senbox data platform a great innovation, which he is making good use of in his new research facility. “You can connect multiple sensors to it and we use quite a few. With 48 research compartments in several climate cells, there is heavy data traffic. We have in total nine Senboxes in use. In this way, we are able to manage our data.”

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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