A SHIFT to greenhouse basil production is paying off for a Queensland produce grower.
The fully automated protected cropping structure saw the first harvest of basil occur in late August.
A media release said the structure maintains an appropriate growing temperature and light density using sensors and automatic heating, cooling and an automatic curtain to reduce light intensity.
The technologically advanced hydroponic system has enabled 28,000 basil plants to be grown in a 21 day period during August.
According to Barden Produce, this was as quick as the summer production period and eight days quicker than anticipated.
Barden Produce herb category manager Lesley Schimke said the new greenhouse allowed the business to manage the production with very little hands-on labour once seedlings are planted.
"The system also supports our environmental sustainability ethos," Ms Schimke said.
"The installation of the structure will provide Barden Produce with the ability to maintain year-round supply to the major retailers, food service processors and independent grocers throughout the eastern seaboard of Australia and capitalise of growing export markets."
The farming system provides a circular recycling system providing a water saving of about 90 per cent compared to conventional production.
The hydroponic system is also herbicide free and it is expected that pesticide usage is significantly reduced given the structure is fully enclosed and the faster production cycle.
Barden Produce production manager Russell Neumann said the business was happy to embrace some new tech.
"The new greenhouse incorporating the high-tech innovations complements our other farming systems that include conventional field and table-top hydroponic production," he said.
"The greenhouse will mitigate any climate change impacts including disastrous hail storms that commonly wreak havoc throughout the Lockyer Valley."
The company prides itself on the ability deliver fresh product year round within 24 hours of harvest.
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