Roots tech helps grow lettuce crops bigger and faster than ever
Special Report: Looking for a fresh salad? Roots Sustainable says it can now grow romaine lettuce up to three weeks faster than traditional growing methods.
The Agtech innovator (ASX:ROO) released results from a pilot of its Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) cooling technology on Romaine lettuce showing a 132 percent increase in lettuce leaf weight, with a significantly shorter growing cycle.
The pilot tested the technology’s ability to keep the plants at a cool 24C during the hot Israeli summer, despite air temperatures in the greenhouse frequently topping 34C.
Results show the cooled lettuce plants had an average fresh weight of 502g, compared to an average weight of 216g for non-cooled plants.
What’s more is that market weight was achieved in 27 days – that’s a much shorter growing time compared to seed manufacturer claims that a normal growing cycles takes between 30 to 50 days.
Roots’ RZTO technology heats or cools the roots of a range of crops as needed in one system, mitigating against daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations.
This enables significant energy and capital and operating expense cost savings, coupled with greater yield increase.
Roots CEO, Dr Sharon Devir said the results highlight the potential benefits for farmers, especially those coping with harsh growing conditions.
“Cooling the roots of lettuce plants in summer not only significantly increases crop yield but also reduces the growing cycle duration and increase yield uniformity. These benefits together could help farmers plan for increased annual crop production and therefore, increased income.”
This latest pilot follows results reported in July where Root’s RZTO technology was used in collaboration with Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) technologies to cool hydroponically grown lettuce.
The company says the technology has been effective in stabilising the plant roots of basil, apricots and medicinal cannabis.
“We are the only company in the world with a commercial root cooling technology. We therefore believe sales are looking increasingly positive, as results of these pilots conducted in areas that experience weather extremes are analysed by farmers in various markets.”
This special report is brought to you by Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies.
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