Covering system for orchards that reduce the use of ...

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GRØN DYST 2014 Technical University of Denmark

Covering system for orchards that reduce the use of pesticides, while producing solar energy
Paper
Author:I. Michailidou (DTU Design & Innovation, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
M.B. Pedersen (DTU Design & Innovation, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
S.H. Boesen (DTU Design & Innovation, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
T. Spanos (DTU Physics & Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Date: 2014-06-27     Track: Main     Session: 1

In fruit and berry production the biggest problem farmers face year after year is the attack of fungus diseases. Up to 95% of an apple production can be infected in a year by the scab disease. Conventional farmers use great amounts of pesticides to reduce this number, while organic farmers have no defense. A new research conducted by Marianne G. Bertelsen, senior researcher in the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University, shows that sheltering the apple trees from the rain can reduce the infection rate to near 0%. By sheltering the trees, the leaves are able to dry faster, preventing the scab from spreading. At the same time the implementation of large fields of solar panels for electricity production faces some ethical issues. Occupying land that could have been used for food production can result in rising food and land prices and can, in extreme situations, lead to famine in poor parts of the world. The idea of this product was to combine these two issues. By covering orchards with shelters containing solar panels, the farmers could reduce their use of pesticides, while producing solar energy.