Indoor cultivation of turf offers opportunities for specific markets. This is the conclusion of a feasibility study carried out by a consortium of four companies with the Green Chemistry Campus. The study was made possible by a contribution from the Zeeland in Stroomversnelling fund.
Organicz, a supplier and developer of organic materials, carried out research into the possibilities of indoor turf cultivation together with Johan Boot, DLF, Hempflax, Logiqs and Green Chemistry Campus. The consortium received a subsidy for this from the "Zeeland in Stroomversnelling" scheme of the province of Zeeland.
A Logiqs growing unit was used for the technical analysis. In a few trial runs, more knowledge was quickly gained about the required growth conditions for grass. Because use was made of a fibre mat of organic material, fewer demands were placed on rooting and the focus was on realising a nice green grass mat with nice grass blades. A grass mat can therefore be realised in just over a week.
In economic terms, a high-tech solution appears to increase the cost price considerably. Together with technology supplier Polytechniek, a study has been made of the extent to which it is possible to downgrade to a low-tech solution. This could involve an installation similar to chicory growing, combined with the use of supplemental lighting. Since grass is easy to grow, less ICT and control technology is needed, which reduces the cost price and the difference with conventional farming. The difference is expected to grow towards each other in the coming years as developments in vertical farming will reduce investment costs, while conventional cultivation will become increasingly expensive due to land prices and environmental measures relating to water, fertilisers and crop protection agents.
The use of a fibre mat also seems to open up new market opportunities for football stadiums, golf courses, etc. By giving the fibre mat the right properties as a basis, you can influence the properties of the final grass mat.
A sustainability study carried out by SpaakCS in Amsterdam shows that indoor cultivation of grass only causes 36% of the environmental impact compared to conventional cultivation.
Based on the research conducted, the consortium sees serious opportunities for the further development of this cultivation method.