BioLumic’s ultraviolet technology for improving crop yields was applied in a Dutch art installation across 20,000 square metres of leeks, to coincide with the World Economic Forum at Davos last month.
Its photobiology, combining blue, red, and ultraviolet light, enhances plant growth and reduces the use of pesticides by up to 50 per cent.
The New Zealand-based company treats seedlings and seeds with its ultraviolet light systems. The platform combines artificial intelligence with precision light treatments to activate the natural plant signalling response to UV light, enhancing crop yield and quality, drought tolerance, and resistance to disease and pests.
Application of the technology began with a lettuce producer in Europe. It’s been in commercial use in California and Mexico, delivering yield gains of up to 22 percent.
In hydroponically-grown strawberries, BioLumic increased yields by 40% per plant after using lighting combinations with breeding and treatment of the crop’s seeds.
“It’s a dreamscape which shows the beauty of light and sustainability… improving step by step”
Board member Adrian Percy told AgFunder News last year, “The essence of the tech is that it uses different UV light recipes at different intensities for different periods of time. And that can solicit important early-stage yield benefits on different crops by turning on genes within the plant to help crop establishment or disease prevention.”
This means the natural genetic potential of seeds is unlocked without additional chemicals or any genetic modification.
Daan Roosegaarde’s artwork, GROW, in Lelystad, the Netherlands, is a homage to the beauty and importance of agriculture. Red and blue lights wash like waves over the crop, surrounded by darkness.
Daan Roosegaarde said, “GROW is the dreamscape which shows the beauty of light and sustainability. Not as a utopia but as a protopia, improving step by step.”
Professor Dr Wargent, PhD, Chief Science Officer at BioLumic, said, “GROW is a fascinating project and supported by scientific research which shows specific light recipes can enhance growth and reduce pesticide use up to 50 per cent.”
The installation, developed over two years, is part of the artist-in-residence programme of Rabobank. Wageningen University & Research and Springtij Forum have also supported the project.