A front row seat in research into light and crops
Lumiforte is capable of developing innovative coatings due to direct contact with well-known scientists working in the area of light and plant physiology. New insights can be directly translated into new coatings. This is why Lumiforte is a member of the Club of 100.
Far more insight into the influence of light on crops has been acquired over the past fifteen years. Universities and institutes throughout the world are investing a lot of time and energy into this issue. Attention is not only focused on photosynthesis, but also on the use of light colors to manage crops.
Lumiforte closely monitors these developments and translates them into new solutions. The insight that infrared heats up a crop, while growing light (PAR) does not, has resulted in heat-reflecting coatings, such as ReduHeat, Transpar and ReduFuse IR. The insight that diffuse light better penetrates a crop and prevents stress has resulted in diffuse coatings, such as ReduFuse.
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) occupies a central position in knowledge development. WUR’s practical-oriented research is supported and partly financed by the Club of 100. This is a group of leading greenhouse cultivation farms that provide direction to the research. Naturally, Lumiforte is a member of the Club of 100.
“This way we are involved in the very latest developments. Our membership is a good way of monitoring and directing the research. We acquire information about new knowledge that we can use in the future to anticipate market demands. This way we are able to gather information, in anticipation of market demand. Moreover, in the Club of 100 we meet other companies with which we can enter into fruitful partnerships,” says Paul van Gils. Together with Jelle Hoogland he is a general consultant at Lumiforte.
“Naturally our laboratory people also have excellent contacts with researchers of various universities and institutes. However, we have concluded that more intensive contact from a commercial perspective also provides added value. This way we are able to more quickly spot opportunities and reinforce our network,” he says.
Controlling crops with light colors
Currently most developments are related to controlling crops with light colors. This is due to the rapid advance of LED lighting. “This produces interesting insights for us. It is clear that you can control the compactness of a crop with the color spectrum. However, light colors also appear to influence the development of plagues. With ReduFlex Blue, Lumiforte has a coating that directly controls crops with light colors. We expect additional opportunities in this area in the future,” says Van Gils.
As member of the Club of 100, Lumiforte is able to jointly direct this research. But contact with other member companies also leads to new initiatives. “We are increasingly looking for cooperation with other suppliers in the greenhouse cultivation sector. We are able to enhance one another’s knowledge and this way better support growers. For example, major gains are still to be made in the propagation of young plants. We plan to work together with nurseries to apply and test current research results on young plants,” he says.
ReduSol produces better-tasting tomatoes in Beijing
Without protection, greenhouse tomatoes in Beijing are quickly affected by sunburn. Tecai Daguanyuang Farm benefits a great deal from the ReduSol coating. The crop stays healthier and production is as much as 5% higher.
Uniform coating is an art
An evenly applied coating is very important. Otherwise an uneven amount of light enters the greenhouse and that can result in a non-uniform crop or problems with the climate control. Gert-Jan van Hattem, of spraying specialist HPW Spuittechnieken, talks about the art of coating.