Researchers Grow Cereals Under LED Lighting

Previously we wrote about advances in LED panel lights which researchers were using to grow leafy crops which could be utilised in extreme locations from deserts to snowfield, and even in outer space. Well, there’s been a further development in the use of LED lighting to grow crops – meaning we won’t just be limited to salads when we take our first holiday on Mars.

Cereal plants like oats and barley have now been successfully grown in LED lighting environments according to Crop Protection News – significant down the difficulty this crop has growing in controlled environments.

Danield Bankestad, research and development engineer at Heliospectra AB, said: “Both oat and barley are two crops many don’t believe can flower in an enclosed environment with LED grow lights as sole source.” However, with the right lighting conditions, these researchers have found that both oats and barley are both able to flourish – and ongoing studies of wheat look promising too.

As a vital crop in our diets, this is a particularly important development, meaning that these staple foods can be cultivated in controlled environments. This can maximise growing conditions and minimise the amount of water needed to produce optimal crops.

This week also brought news of an extended season for British strawberries using LED technology. According to Produce Business UK, thanks to new growing techniques such as the use of LED panels, British strawberries can now be available for nine months out of the year, which used to only last from May to September.