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Comprehensive energy solutions and coexisting heating methods are the way forward

by Graeme Hammer
Published: Last Updated on
Farming News & Updates

The ‘Cuihu Smart Agriculture Innovation Factory’ invested in by Beijing Capital Agribusiness & Foods Group’s Xijiao Farm is one of Beijing’s key projects in 2021, and it is also the first demonstration project of Beijing’s high-efficiency facility agriculture development plan. According to Li Xinxu, general manager of Beijing Cuihu Agricultural Technology Co., Ltd., “The park covers an area of ​​over 66 hectares and is divided into three parts: a research and development innovation base, a 200,000-square-meter green vegetable demonstration factory, and a supporting area. The 100,000-square-meter intelligent multi-span greenhouse has been built so far, and the entire greenhouse design adopts domestic technology. This is an exploration of large-scale multi-span greenhouses in China, which effectively promotes the progress of domestic greenhouses. The tomato planting area put into trial production this time is 24,000 square meters. The first batch of tomatoes is planted on December 31, 2021, and harvested on March 31. “

“We are currently in the trial production stage, and we are debugging tomato varieties and greenhouse systems. We have planted more than 30 varieties, mainly small cherry tomatoes, and large and medium-fruit tomatoes. Because of the short crop production, the first batch of small tomatoes yields 12-13kg/m2, and the large tomato is expected to be 24-26kg/m2. We like varieties that are long-lived and resistant to stress, and good taste is the first factor. At present, tomato sales are mainly offline. In the future, we hope to take the road of high-quality fresh produce of “quality + brand.” 


Energy issues are a common challenge facing growers around the world today. “At present, we use pipeline natural gas and gas boilers as the main heating forms to recycle the exhaust gas. During the day, the boiler provides heat to generate carbon dioxide, and at night, we use heat storage for heating. We are also continuing to explore other feasible energy methods. For example, using the waste heat of urban heating, there is a power plant that provides heating nearby, but there is a lack of ready-made pipelines, and the initial investment cost is high. Thermal source heat pumps, solar energy, and photovoltaics are also potential solutions, and feasible options are currently being explored. In my opinion, comprehensive energy solutions and coexisting heating methods are the way forward.”

“There is still a lot of room for improvement in the industrial system that matches agricultural production. China’s horticulture technology is developing rapidly, but in terms of the industrial system that matches horticulture, there is still a gap between China and the Netherlands. Of course, the gap is currently narrowing. Many domestic specialized companies are growing very fast, such as fertilizer tanks and rail carts. It is possible that more and more domestic systems will be used in the future. “

We can see that rising energy prices are causing a lot of trouble for European greenhouses. Many growers have been forced to idle their greenhouses or delay production, resulting in very high end-product prices. “Currently, the proportion of vegetable production in multi-span greenhouses in China is not high, mainly in plastic greenhouses and solar greenhouses. Therefore, the increase in energy costs has little impact on the overall vegetable price. Growers need to consider the cost of inputs and output. “


“Our second-phase greenhouse will carry out more explorations in cultivation mode and technology research and development. Large-scale multi-span greenhouses have been the direction of exploration in recent years, which can drive the transformation and upgrading of traditional agriculture. Our greenhouse is located in Haidian District, Beijing, surrounded by many scientific research institutes. We hope to take advantage of scientific research and create a model project. In addition, we are also actively seeking advanced energy technologies from overseas, such as lower-cost environmental control systems, climate screens, and other ways. “


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Cuihu Smart Agriculture Innovation Factory

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