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Insight into the Crop Science companies and universities in UK

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During a recent visit with our partners TCE and their CEO Tim Coats, our Head of Plant R&D, Dr Craig Brelsford, visited some of the most prestigious crop science companies and universities in the UK, to speak with our customers.

We sat down with Craig and asked him about the highlights of his visits in the UK.

What was something you learnt during your visit?

“There is so much going on inside the UK in terms of crop science research in glasshouses – we saw all types of plants from cereal crops to tree species, temperate to tropical. Impressive research is being done by crop science companies, researchers, as well as students at universities.

If I had to pick one thing, it would be learning about the research from Dr Daphne Ezer, Lecturer in Computational Biology at the University of York. Her research group showed that there is burst of genes which switch on in the morning in plants, and this is dependent in part upon the light that plants receive. We are still learning new things about plants all the time.” 

What makes glasshouses for crop science different from commercial production?

“Some of the plant species can be the same as those in commercial production (tomato, cucumber etc.) but there is also a huge variety of plants which are used as model species in crop science. Anything from Arabidopsis to wheat or rice. More often than not, these can be growing in the same space.

One of the things that we offer at Valoya is lighting recipes with a broad spectrum which produce a plant response similar to natural sunlight. This is one way that we are able to successfully support the growth of many plant species together in a glasshouse. We also take pride in making sure that we can offer lights which are pleasant to work under and allow you to see the natural colours of the plants – so that you can inspect and monitor their growth successfully.”  

What are the similarities between glasshouses for crop science and commercial crop production?

“A lot of the fundamentals remain the same. We optimise the light uniformity inside the glasshouse by designing light plans tailored to that particular glasshouse, which includes simulating the materials used in the glasshouse as well as the placing of the lights.

We ensure that the plants get the recommended amount of light intensity, and that they grow as desired by the customer. We’ve completed over 650 trials at Valoya with over 300 plant species/varieties, so we have a huge amount of history and data to guide our lighting recommendations.  

Furthermore, we aim to improve the energy savings of our customers, especially when they are switching from HPS to LEDs. In both crop science and commercial glasshouses, energy usage is an important topic and we want to reduce our customers’ energy bills too.” 

Why is it so important for you to visit customers and growers?

“One huge thing for us, is that Valoya provides after sales support, and works with our distributors together as a team. TCE are a cherished partner, who provide fantastic customer service and solutions with Valoya for both commercial glasshouses and crop science glasshouses across the UK. Our plant team provides after sales support, and we make sure that we will continue to look after our customers by providing follow-up visits and calls.”

For free light plan or to find out more about Valoya LEDs and our solutions, please contact tim@tceelectrical.com (UK enquiries) or
sales@greenlux.com. More information on TCE is available at www.tceelectrical.com

Valoya is a brand of Greenlux Lighting Solutions Oy, where our LEDs are designed anmanufactured in Finland, ensuring a high standard of Nordic quality.

 

Some of the species grown inside at the University of York include those for biopharmaceutical crops, in addition to those of huge agronomic importance such as wheat and rice. Here, Valoya LEDs support the growth of many plant species grown in the greenhouse together through stages of vegetative growth all the way to flowering. 

The blog posts are written by Valoya’s biologists and engineers. All of the content is original and is aimed at helping growers and researchers get a better understanding of the LED grow light technology.

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