Low cost protected cropping (LCPC) is a deliberate strategy to address a single (or limited number of) key production factors using one or more protected cropping elements. As a subcategory of protected cropping, LCPC has the distinct objective of a short payback period (less than 5 years)*. Commonly, this also represents a minimised capital investment, that is, a 'low cost' which is achieved by having a focus on a limited objective (factor) in the growing environment.
In contrast, protected cropping (PC) in general strives to
address numerous environmental constraints of crop
production, ultimately leading to a fully controlled
environment, that is, controlled environment
horticulture (CEH) in which the aim is to address all
factors in the growing environment.
Low cost protected cropping is not simply a cheap form of
protected cropping but is instead a deliberate strategy to
modify or mitigate a key constraint in the growing
environment and simultaneously attempt to constrain
There are a number of protected cropping structures which
can be used as low cost protected cropping options.
* as opposed to other forms of protected cropping, including
controlled environment horticulture, which may have investment
horizons of 5 - 15 years.