Overhead fogging or misting is an essential technique applied in modern greenhouses for cooling and humidifying. This technique can be used to promote yield and quality of greenhouse crops either by providing favorable environment for the plant growth or by increasing the efficiency of greenhouse pest and disease control. In this study, the effect of high-pressure overhead misting on greenhouse climate and leaf surface microclimate conditions for cucumber crops in a glass greenhouse was investigated. It was found that the temperature of the greenhouse air was lowered by 5-6 °C and relative humidity was increased by 20% to 30% during misting. The temperature of sunlit leaves was slightly reduced in the morning (2-3 °C), and leaf wetness duration was significantly extended by misting. Leaf wetness duration under misting was predominately influenced by light intensity at the leaf level and was modelled as a function of misting period and average radiation intensity. Results of this study can be used to improve the predictions of pest and disease breakout and the efficiency of their control measures. The empirical model developed in this study can be integrated with leaf surface microclimate models to correctly predict surface moisture conditions and evaporative cooling from water films at the leaf surface.
Greenhouse crop production technology is advancing rapidly, and the management of greenhouse crops has become increasingly difficult. Computerized environment and fertigation control of greenhouse crops grown in soilless media offer opportunities for unparalleled manipulation of crop growing conditions. However, the optimization of crop growing conditions for maximum productivity must be practiced with an eye on environmental regulations; worker health concerns; consumer demands for safe food; and ultimately on energy, water, fertilizer, and pesticide use economy. Managing the complex greenhouse cropping system requires a multidisciplinary approach that integrates pest and disease protection strategies with routine cultural practices and environmental and fertigation regimes into a common decision-making process or Integrated Crop Management strategy. This poster describes an Expert System for greenhouse cucumber management based on a general model of Integrated Crop Management for greenhouse crops.