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    Research Signify and Fragaria Innova into growing strawberries with LED bears fruits

     
    June 15, 2021
     
    • Provides better steering of the plants
    • Optimizes winter growth
    • Helps growers realize a stabile production pattern with high yield and good quality strawberries

     

    Eindhoven, the Netherlands – Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, has worked together with Fragaria Innova to develop specific light recipes for strawberries, resulting in a steady production pattern with high yield, and good quality strawberries in wintertime. The joint research over the past year helps to further optimize the winter production of the so-called ‘June bearers’, a strawberry cultivar known for relatively short peaks in production.

     

    Within Fragaria Innova, progressive strawberry growers commit themselves, together with external partners, to innovation surrounding the themes of growing under light and plant health. For growing under light, Fragaria Innova and market leader Signify conduct a multi-year program with participating growers / propagators. At one of the production companies a special compartment has also been equipped with separate climate control, this enables the testing of several growth- and light strategies for multiple cultivars under full LED. One of the main goals of the research is realizing a (more) stable production pattern during wintertime.

    Brookberries finds that the benefit of LED grow lights is they can finetune the recipe to their own wishes and possibilities

    Current winter productions usually take place with June bearers with a short production period of 8 to 10 weeks, after which a new planting in another section takes over production to create a stable, flat production. Unlit cultivation dominates before- and after the winter production.

    “Extra growth light is needed to realize sufficient yield and quality in winter”, according to plant specialist Peer Hermans, who conducts the research on behalf of Signify. “The trials have shown that you can influence the plant build-up somewhat with specific light recipes, for which LED is ideally suited.” By accurately tuning the light intensity and spectrum offered to the developmental stage of the plant, you can optimize the leaf surface and stretching of the flower trusses and leaf stalks. A better plant build-up can benefit the production. The idea is to raise the production quality through light optimization.

     

    Grower Marcel Dings from Brookberries, co-initiator behind Fragaria Innova, noticed some influence on the plant build-up, but the extra assimilates that came with it, went mostly to the crop and less to the fruits. Dings: “Next season will focus on how we can further optimize the division of the assimilates in the plant, and how we can get the assimilates to the fruits”. The grower notices that there are a lot of variables at play, such as: cultivars, planting times, cultivation goals, light spectra, light intensity, and the balance between natural daylight and artificial lighting. “The benefit of this new generation of LED grow lights is that we can play with lighting efficiently, and that we can finetune the recipe to our own wishes and possibilities. Within this project, together we can achieve faster and more progress. I am satisfied with the results of this first year, but there is definitely room for further optimization. Hopefully, we can keep this going in the coming years.”

     

    Grower Dave Linssen, participant within Fragaria Innova (cultivar: Malling Centenary), had a trial with different spectra at one company location, planted in August just like his unlit crop. “The lit plants went into production earlier in winter, as expected. When it came to kilos and plant build-up, we hardly noticed any difference between the light spectra”, he concludes. “We may need to tinker a little to get the ideal light recipe for our company. It seems obvious to me that growing under LED is a desired addition.”

     

    Based on these encouraging results, the trial set-up for the coming season will be determined. Spectrum research and testing different cultivars will be part of this research. For more information on growing strawberries with LED grow lights, please go to www.philips.com/horti.

    For further information, please contact:

     

    Global Marcom Manager Horticulture at Signify

    Daniela Damoiseaux

    Tel: +31 6 31 65 29 69

    E-mail: daniela.damoiseaux@signify.com

    About Signify

    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2020 sales of EUR 6.5 billion, we have approximately 38,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for four consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 20172018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the NewsroomTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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