UK growers embrace greenhouse growing as April’s record-breaking rainfall affects crops

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Greenhouse control system experts, Tomtech, believe the increasing popularity of controlled environment agriculture could be the solution for farms affected by flooding, as 2024 sees its 6th wettest April since records began in 1836, according to the Met Office.

April’s heavy rainfall impacted farmers in many parts of the UK during the key spring period for planting crops. Numerous British growers were unable to plant various crops due to waterlogged ground, while others saw their crops fail to grow or even rot in the soil.

As put forward by Tomtech, greenhouse growing benefits from year-round controlled environments without any weather uncertainties.

“Britain has a reputation for unpredictable weather and we’ve especially seen this in April 2024. We’ve seen more and more farmers opting to grow more under glass for greater peace of mind and complete control over the plant’s conditions” says Krzysztof Hernik, Managing Director at Tomtech.

Since 1986, Tomtech’s control systems and other infrastructure have been extensively used by UK growers – large and small. Their innovative products are used to automatically monitor and regulate crop conditions to ensure they benefit from the best possible growing environment.

Using our control systems, greenhouse growers can seamlessly manage temperature, humidity, light, pH levels, nutrients and more to remove any guess work and grow faster, bigger and better crops” adds Krzysztof.

To encourage UK horticulture, the government has renewed and expanded various grant schemes that are opened periodically to provide horticultural and farm businesses with funding to invest in equipment and control technology.

Earlier this year, the Farming Investment Fund provided capital for greenhouse equipment and systems in order to aid crop production, benefit sustainability and enhance productivity.

Although this grant is now closed for new applicants, more government schemes are likely to occur in future as domestic agriculture becomes more of a focus in response to extreme weather and supply chain instability from imported crops.

“As unpredictable weather becomes more common in the UK, we expect to see more investment in greenhouse structures and horticulture control technology. We are hopeful that summer 2024 will bring plenty of good weather, however, growers can always benefit from consistent crop quality and a high yield when growing under glass – no matter the weather,” concludes Krzysztof.

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