Special report: Innovative agtech Roots Sustainable (ASX: ROO) has added another crop to the growing list of plants its root zone cooling technology can grow quickly and abundantly – chives.

The company is known for its unique Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology, which heats or cools crop roots as needed, optimising plant physiology for increased growth, health, productivity and quality.

The latest results on chives were achieved in a greenhouse pilot during the Israeli summer from August through to October, where Roots’ RZTO cooling tech increased yield by 257 per cent and extended the growing cycle by 129 per cent.

Chive plants cooled with the technology had an average fresh weight of 268 grams compared with 75g for non-cooled plants, and also continued to grow for 55 days – the control crop “virtually stopped growing after four weeks”.

Roots’ innovative tech has previously been shown to be effective on cannabis and basil crops.

Roots chief Dr Sharon Devir said the latest pilot was another example of the advantages of its proprietary cooling technology.

“Our RZTO cooling technology complements our root zone heating systems, providing farmers in areas affected by weather extremes with a two-in-one year-round solution,” she said.

“Pilots and proof of concepts are incredibly important in the agri-tech sector and are essential for generating sales in new segments. Results on a variety of crops, environments and growing conditions validate the versatility of our technology and allow us to begin discussions with a broader target market.”

Traditionally a cool climate crop, high temperatures significantly impact chive yields and crop quality.

Using the hybrid ground source heat exchange version of Roots’ RZTO system, the roots of chives crops were cooled to remain relatively stable around 25 degrees centigrade despite air temperatures in the greenhouse frequently topping 36 degrees. In comparison, roots of control plantings fluctuated between 27 and 31 degrees.


Roots Sustainable is a Stockhead advertiser. 

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