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January 4th, 2018 / ZME Science

Australian researchers have demonstrated a ‘speed breeding’ technique for common crops. Their method yields far more food per unit area than conventional farming, relying on specially calibrated LEDs that emit light at specific frequencies onto crops to accelerate plant growth.

Using this setup, researchers showed that they could grow six generations of wheat, chickpea, and barley, as well as four generations of canola plants, in a single year. Typically, farmers in the field only grow one generation of each crop. The yields are strikingly high even when compared to crops grown in a lamp glasshouse environment, which produced two to three generations.

This means that for the same unit area, it’s possible to grow six times more food than in the open field and up to three times more food than typical glasshouses, the authors reported in the journal Nature Plants (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-017-0083-8#Sec19) — and this could prove extremely important.This means that for the same unit area, it’s possible to grow six times more food than in the open field and up to three times more food than typical glasshouses, the authors reported in the journal Nature Plants — and this could prove extremely important. Read more