You are here

Should I use supplemental lighting to increase my yield?

The short answer to this question is no. However, if you want to understand the basis for this recommendation, read through this explanation. In order for supplemental lighting to increase yield, it must be bright enough to significantly increase photosynthesis. This means using High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps giving about 1,000 foot candles each (or 400 watts, or 120 micromoles per square meter). One such lamp would be needed for each 40 square feet of greenhouse floor space. Therefore, in a 2,500 square foot greenhouse, a grower would need 62 lamps. Each lamp costs about $200. Therefore, the fixed costs (up front expenses) would be about $12,500 for a single bay greenhouse. But, then you would need to turn them on, too. Assume that you use these 62 lamps 12 hours each day, and 10 months of the year. Each lamp would provide about 425 watts, including the ballast. If your electricity costs 10 cents per kWh, your annual electric bill would be about $9,617. (If your electic cost is less than 10 cents per kWh, feel free to adjust this calculation.)

If you think you can increase your yield in the first year to bring in at least an additional $22,117, then you will more than break even. This would mean getting an additional 35 lbs. per plant (based on 500 plants in the greenhouse and selling at $1.25 per lb.). On the other hand, see the short answer above.

Printer Friendly and PDF

News

Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets, Greenhouse Tomatoes, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Other Vegetables August 17, 2017

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Produce growers, packers, industry suppliers and others can learn the requirements of the new federal Produce Safety Rule during one of three upcoming workshops around the state.

Mississippi Greenhouse Tomato Short Course logo
Filed Under: Agriculture, Greenhouse Tomatoes January 18, 2017

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Greenhouse tomato growers and other interested individuals are invited to attend the 27th annual Mississippi Greenhouse Tomato Short Course March 7 and 8.

Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and Auburn University will present the latest production information. Experienced growers and industry professionals from around the U.S. also will speak.

The short course will be at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center, located at 1500 Raymond Lake Road in Raymond.

Filed Under: Green Industry, Greenhouse Tomatoes February 12, 2015

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Greenhouse tomato growers and other interested individuals can learn all aspects of production during the 25th annual Greenhouse Tomato Short Course March 3 and 4 in Raymond.

Experts from the tomato industry, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and Auburn University will present the latest production information.

The workshop will be held at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center at 1500 Raymond Lake Road in Raymond.

Filed Under: Greenhouse Tomatoes February 5, 2014

JACKSON – Greenhouse tomato growers can learn everything from greenhouse design to budgeting during the 24th annual Mississippi Greenhouse Tomato Short Course March 4-5 in Raymond.

Experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the University of Florida Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center, Auburn University and the tomato industry will present information to help current growers and those interested in starting a greenhouse tomato business.

Filed Under: Greenhouse Tomatoes January 31, 2013

RAYMOND -- Tomato growers from around the world will attend Mississippi State University’s 23rd annual national Greenhouse Tomato Short Course March 5 and 6 at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, Miss.

Listen

Monday, February 27, 2017 - 1:00am

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Extension/Research Professor
Greenhouse Tomatoes and other vegetables, Field Vegetables, Mushrooms