Science

Crop yields could be boosted up to 37 per cent by covering plants in red plastic

A simple, cheap technology could help to boost food production and possibly allow crops to be grown in different places in order to cut down on food miles


Environment


18 February 2022

Trial of the LLEAF material in a greenhouse at Western Sydney University

Alexander Soeriyadi/LLEAF Pty Ltd

The yields of some crops can be substantially boosted by covering them in a material that increases the amount of red light they receive. The simple technology could help to feed the world’s growing population, although more research is needed to see if it affects the flavor and nutrition of plants.

Red wavelengths of sunlight are known to be the biggest drivers of plant growth because they stimulate leaves to produce chlorophyll, which is needed for photosynthesis. This…

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