Dutch-based ErfGoed, an international leader in the manufacturing and installing of cultivation floors, has published a white paper ranking seven different surfaces evaluated on 15 criteria.
The white paper starts with defining the definitions of different surfaces (concrete Floors, crushed stones, benches, dutch container systems, ErfGoedFloor (excellent/premium), and fabric). For example, the fabric floor they compare is not liquid-tight.
15 different topics to compare 7 surfaces
Every surface gets a ranking between -3 to 3 points for every topic. Below you get an overview of the ranking with plusses and mines. In the white paper, ErfGoed explains the different scores.
Figure 1: The ranking of the different surfaces, the ErfGoedFloor Premium is excluded from this picture.
Example of explanation about the subject automation
The Dutch Container Systems makes the whole process automatic (controlled by computer); therefore, this surface scores the highest. Furthermore, a concrete floor can be driven on better than an ErfGoedFloor Excellent.
By the way, it is possible to drive on an ErfGoedFloor, so this surface still gets 1 point. Crushed stone and fabric may move if driven on, leading to more maintenance. An important point that should be mentioned here. There have been many new possibilities for internal transport in recent years. Conveyor belts have become more common.
With flying forks, plants can easily be brought forward from the back of the greenhouse. But robotization also offers many new opportunities. If we were to take this alone as a starting point, the figures would be different again.
Example of explanation about the subject cooling
The ErfGoedFloor Excellent allows growers to put a layer of water in the floor without watering the crop, allowing plants to receive cooling from below. The Dutch Container Systems could include climate systems under them. Only this is not utilized by many growers. With concrete, it is possible to bring cooling into the heating tubes. However, this is not yet in practice (as far as we know), so we have given this substrate a 0.