Prevent Botrytis: Ready for the humid fall?

Prevent Botrytis: Ready for the humid fall?

With the humid fall weather on the way, it is time to consider seasonal settings and functions in your LCC4 climate control. Botrytis is one of the very common issues that emerge as humidity levels increase. That’s why the LCC4 has a built-in botrytis control to prevent botrytis and expensive chemical treatments.

As humidity conditions change with the season, it is important to adjust the humidity settings in your LCC4 climate control. With the correct settings, you can help prevent common issues such as botrytis. Botrytis thrives in high relative humidity, which is why the LCC4 built-in botrytis program quickly dries out the chosen compartment in a selected time interval during a chosen time of the day, thereby harming growth conditions for the fungus.

What is Botrytis?

Botrytis is a very common issue in greenhouses. Botrytis is a fungus that attacks plants when humidity is too high, causing fuzzy gray/brown-looking spots on buds and flowers.

No chemicals – just climate

The LCC4 Botrytis control function works by asking your LCC4 climate control to quickly dry selected compartments. When humidity levels are high, plants cannot evaporate water in the transpiration process, allowing botrytis to attack the plant’s vulnerable buds and flowers.

Treating botrytis is a costly chemical affair. By preventing it, you eliminate treatment expenses.

You must set up the wanted period – a so-called band – and choose the percentage humidity must be lowered by. This will impact the active climate in the greenhouse.

By adjusting the active climate to include a band with the botrytis function, you prevent having to treat botrytis with chemicals. Chemicals are known to negatively impact plant growth in terms of slow blooming, low quality, and increased waste. You also avoid having to disinfect the greenhouse, as is the case after attacks by fungi.

To create a dry-out, the temperature will be raised. Raising the pipe temperature by 10-20°C, for example, is of course costly, but compared to the negative impact chemical botrytis treatment has and the actions one must spend time on, such as disinfection, the cost is well spent. Likewise, avoiding chemicals has positive influence on sustainability and environmental efforts.

How to set up Botrytis bands in LCC4

You will find the Botrytis function in the Humidity menu on your LCC4 as shown in the video.

  1. Select compartment
  2. Select Humidity menu
  3. Select Settings
  4. Select submenu number 3

You can now make the wanted settings in a botrytis band. The settings are made with your normal settings as point of origin, which is why you create a “delay” from these normal settings.

If you, for example, normally have a relative humidity (RH) of 70 % and wish to dry out a department to prevent botrytis, you can lower the RH in that specific department, i.e., during two hours during the afternoon. You should then ask the system to create a band for delay of the maximum humidity.

If you want to lower it from your usual 70 % to 65 %, you should enter a delay of 5 %. The system will then set into motion various actions to reach 65 % humidity during the chosen period, including increasing the underfloor heating and controlling windows and screens. During the band, the system will overmodulate the regular settings. This will “shock” the cultures and dry them, preventing botrytis to thrive.

Other ways to control humidity

A lack of air circulation also largely affects humidity levels in greenhouses. That is why fans and screens  also play a key role when it comes to humidity and climate in general. The air available in the greenhouse must be circulated, exchanged, and evenly distributed.

Fans compensate the temperature in the greenhouse and change the humidity around the micro-climate at the plant.

 

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