Improving supplemental light use efficiency of greenhouse crops

Supplemental lighting is required to produce quality crops inside greenhouses in the northern US.  The energy costs for supplemental lighting can be quite significant.  For example, to add 5 moles of supplemental light per day using 1000 W HPS lamps during mid Nov to mid Mar for an acre of greenhouse can cost $25000.  This makes lighting one of the most expensive input for production.  In addition, only a fraction (1-3%) of supplemental light is actually used by plants in photosynthesis.  Therefore it is important to improve supplemental light use efficiency of plants for ‘sustainable’ crop production.  Our research is focused on identifying environmental factors that transiently reduce supplemental light use efficiency in greenhouses and mitigating these transient stressors during production.  We use a combination of remote sensing techniques to identify supplemental light use efficiency of plants and transient environmental stressors experienced by plants in greenhouses.  Our goal is to develop affordable technologies that can be easily transferred to the greenhouse industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensors measure supplemental light use efficiency


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