Protected cropping is the production of horticultural crops under or within structures.
It’s more than just greenhouses according to Paul Gauthier, who is a professor of protected cropping with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation.
He says there are three different types of protective cropping.
“It can be a high tunnel that protects the crop from the weather, it can be inside a greenhouse, or it can be in a structure where it is fully indoors and the plants never see the sunshine,” he said.
Protected cropping allows farmers to control the environment of the plants they grow, including the temperature, water and soil in some systems that use hydroponics.
Professor Gauthier says it can protect plants from the negative effects of weather.
“By putting everything indoors and controlling your inputs you can start predicting what the outcome is going to be and your plants are protected,” he said.
“In the case of a storm event, as long as your building can resist the storm, then all of your plants will be safe and you can continue to produce food.”