Roots’ temperature control tech now works on flowers – like the ‘lily of the Incas’
Food & Agriculture
Food & Agriculture
Special Report: The innovative agtech’s temperature control technology has been successful on cannabis crops, lettuce, basil and chives – and now it’s also been shown to work on Alstroemeria, a beautiful flower native to South America also known as the ‘lily of the Incas’.
In the first use of the company’s Root Zone Temperature Optimisation technology (RZTO) on flowers, Roots (ASX:ROO) reported growth and cultivation of flowers with cooled roots started eight weeks earlier than control plants.
This early blooming accounted for a 20 percent increase in production – the equivalent of a whopping 150,000 flowers per hectare.
The extended growing season also allowed the farmer from the pilot to obtain a premium price of more than double the standard rate for out-of-season flowers.
Alstroemeria, also known as Peruvian Lily or the lily of the Incas, is part of the growing floriculture industry, which is estimated to be worth US$55 billion a year. The sector is very diverse and includes the production of floral crops such as cut flowers and cut foliage, flower bulbs, potted flowering as well as foliage plants and bedding plants.
During the pilot, which was conducted in the Israeli summer, Roots used the RZTO cooling system to keep the flower roots relatively stable at an optimal range, despite high ambient air temperatures in the greenhouse.
Dr Sharon Devir, chief of Roots, said the company would use the results of the pilot study to promote its tech across the floriculture industry.
“We see many opportunities with floriculture crops as crop yield optimisation and growing cycle management is critical, as most cut flowers do not travel well and have limited lifespans,” she said.
“This successful pilot allows us to undertake detailed discussions with stakeholders in this sector who were keen to see whether Roots’ proprietary technology could benefit representative crops common in the floriculture industry grown under extreme conditions.”
By successfully cooling the root systems of the Alstroemeria seedling, the RZTO system provided increased protection from a significant heatwave, stabilising the temperature range between day and night, which resulted in dramatically increased growth and a higher yield.