Finding the balance to improve crop performance maintaining high energy efficiency levels

Annually, indoor and greenhouse growers produce significantly more lbs/ft3 of canopy compared to open field. It is a fact that we have learned how to improve crop productivity over the years and we are still expecting an exponential increase in this area. Now the most important challenge is to find the most energy efficient way to keep increasing crop productivity.

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Starting seeds indoors with LED grow lights

Whether you grow indoors or in a greenhouse, proper plant development is profoundly dependent on the quantity and quality of light your crop receives. The photoperiod, light intensity, and light quality are key lighting properties in regulating plant growth and development. Yet whatever setting you grow in, using the proper grow light for seed starting presents an opportunity to begin your crop on the path to higher yields and a quality product. 

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Free Download: Key Aspects about the Use and Management of LED Lighting in Crop Production

As LED grow lights continue to become more affordable, an increasing number of greenhouse growers and vertical farmers are considering whether the lights would benefit their production systems. Several studies and growers applications have demonstrated the development of new lighting technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can increase the capability to provide ideal light conditions to crops, making possible the improvement of crop performance and product quality.

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Photons and Yield

Light incidence over our crops will have a direct effect on yield. Photosynthesis is the most important process in plants to produce energy. But how can we relate photons of light to yield? Based on research we know now one mole of photosynthetic photons is required in order to produce one gram o dried biomass (yield).  

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Stomata Behavior

Stomata are pores constituted by two cells called: Guard cells. Guard cells are hydraulic valves making possible stomata closure and opening. 

Stomata open or close depending on different factors: Light intensity, light quality, temperature, leaf water status, and intracellular CO2.

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Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a technique used to grow plants and aquatic animals in a system using the recirculation of water. In order to understand aquaponics, we need to have knowledge about aquaculture, hydroponics, and bacteria. 

But how could aquaponics be a good option?

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Free Download: The Guide for Growing Strawberries

Strawberries are definitely not an easy crop and CEA technologies can always help us to provide ideal conditions to improve production window, yield per area and fruit quality. Growers are finding out the great benefits of growing strawberries using the help of CEA. This is the reason why now hydroponic greenhouse production of strawberries is growing rapidly across the world. The present guide has the objective to provide specific information about how to grow strawberries in a hydroponic system inside greenhouses.

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Pre-Empt: An organic hydroponic fertilizer

Organic hydroponics is possible! We can implement organic practices for hydroponic systems by using nutrient solutions derived from organic plant and animal material or naturally mined compounds. In order to certify the organic origin for a product you must look for OMRI-listed products. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a private, nonprofit organization that determines whether or not a product qualifies as organic under the USDA’s National Organic Program.

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The Advantages of CEA in Strawberry Production

Growing hydroponic strawberries

By Karla García

Strawberries (Fragaria × ananassaDuch.) are an important crop grown in the U.S. with a market value of more than $2.2 billion dollars, producing 1.12 million tons of strawberries in 2019. Most production of strawberries in the U.S. is done in open fields. In the U.S., year-round production is achieved by shifting production between regions across California and Florida. Recently U.S. growers are confronting challenges in open field production. In California, where more than 90% of the total strawberry production is done, annual acreage for strawberries is getting lower due to prolonged drought periods in the field; also, dry weather is increasing pests, making it challenging to manage and control diseases (Green, 2014). Another challenge of U.S. production is the emergence of strong competitors in the strawberry market, Mexico and China.

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