Improving the quality and success rate of propagation. LED lights will be used a great deal more for both our motherstock and propagation in the future.
Not only are we seeing quality improved, I am able to program our buying-in of unrooted cuttings with greater certainty, knowing that we can supply plugs to our customers exactly when they require them.- Bruce Harnett, Kernock Park Plants
The right lighting
In 2011, trials started with LED lighting – with various light spectra – on propagated material. This small-scale trial provided sufficient encouragement to conduct a larger trial over propagation beds using 84% red light from Philips GreenPower LED production modules. GreenPower LED production modules offer increased control, improved and uniform crop quality, and energy savings of up to 75%.
The results were so positive that it was clear more trials should be held. In 2014, Philips was approached for advice on the way forward, including its then-new GreenPower LED toplighting modules. Delivering light levels typically ranging from 40-300 μmol/m2/s in a highly efficient way, GreenPower LED toplighting offers considerable opportunities to increase production and improve crop quality during the year.
The results with varieties known to be difficult to propagate were a revelation. In addition to a vastly improved success rate, in some cases it went from 30% to 96%. The rooting was quicker and botrytis control was limited to just one preventative spray.
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