How do I protect my crop from direct sunlight and heat?

By Karla Garcia, Hort Americas Technical Services

A greenhouse is a structure used to protect our crop and extend our production window. Once we decide to invest in a greenhouse structure we must think in ways to obtain the maximum benefit from it. There are plenty of options for greenhouse covers. But as a grower, what should I be looking for? Photosynthesis is the main process related to crop yield. Therefore we should always be looking to optimize our greenhouse environment to promote photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is a process promoted mainly by CO2 and light. CO2 is captured by our plants by a process of gas exchange. Small pores located in leaves called ‘stomata’ are in charge of this process. To get the best function of gas exchange and transpiration from stomata, plants must be free of any stress. Direct light and heat inside the greenhouse can lead to reduce plant photosynthesis. In these cases, photosynthesis reduction is mainly driven by two factors: leaf temperature and lack of a uniform light environment in the whole plant. Research has shown how photosynthesis can be reduced when leaf temperature tends to rise. We will find a rise in leaf temperature in upper leaves of plants exposed to direct light and heat. In addition, direct light will hit mostly upper leaves (which can be already stressed because of high temperature). This will leave an environment where upper leaves will work more on photosynthesis leaving leaves in middle and bottom canopy with much less light to do this process.

You can maximize photosynthesis by promoting a uniform light environment and avoiding rise of temperature in leaves. There are options of greenhouse covers to diffuse light and reduce heat. Sudlac is a shading paint manufacturer offering high quality paints to protect crops by optimizing incoming sunlight and heat to meet specific demands in different environments with the main purpose to increase your crop yield and quality.

Optufise IR from Sudlac is the ideal product to help you reduce heat in your greenhouse while promoting diffused light penetration. This product can be applied on the outside of all standard greenhouses. With the use of Optifuse IR incoming light will be scattered by the diffuse coating layer, reaching the leaves from all sides from top to bottom of the crop. This will improve the photosynthesis and transpiration of all plant leaves, resulting in a better humidity, temperature and CO2 level inside the greenhouse. It is proven by research that diffused light in combination with heat reduction has a positive effect on production, quality and growth of your crop. In addition this product will not affect your PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) transmission.

Hort Americas is one of the Sudlac distributors in US.

Contact us if you are interested in learning how to optimize your greenhouse environment with the right cover. Sudlac offers plenty of options for greenhouse coverings. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about Sudlac products and how and when to use them.