Light powers photosynthesis in plants, and controlling light therefore has a direct impact on agricultural production.
One of the simplest ways to manipulate crop performance using light is in controlled environment production. The ability to mass produce LEDs with different light frequencies has revolutionised undercover cropping, changing the economics of production and enabling a much greater range of plants to be produced in vertical farms.
In the field, optimising photosynthesis efficiency can potentially increase yield and has been a Holy Grail of researchers for decades, who are trying to enhance this inherently inefficient process and make it more efficient.
Within the plant science research community, a major advance has been the understanding of how plants use light to measure time, an area known as chronobiology.
The big excitement is the knowledge that chronobiology extends beyond daily rhythms – it also impacts on many underpinning biological processes, including those that influence plants’ ability to manage drought stress and resist pests, providing new targets for breeding and innovation.
Intensive lighting regimes have shown that it is possible to create, under extreme conditions, eight harvests a year of wheat.
Below are stories from some of the member organisations within the Agri-TechE ecosystem that are working in this area.
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Articles about light
Agri-TechE supporting the innovation ecosystem
Agri-TechE is a business-focused membership organisation that is supporting the growth of a vibrant agri-tech ecosystem of innovative farmers, food producers and processors, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs.
By bringing together organisations and individuals that share a passion for improving the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, it aims to turn challenges into business opportunities and facilitate mutually beneficial collaboration.