Signify has partnered with Bejo Zaden to accelerate breeding of more seed varieties through a new vertical farm approach to cultivation. In the facility, a large climate-controlled room is equipped with Philips GrowWise Control System to automate control of Philips GreenPower LED dynamic modules. The company can now produce multiple crop cycles per year to meet the high demand from growers, faster.
“We’ve actually doubled the number of growing hours per day. Normally our crops only flower once a year, but now with this dynamic LED lighting solution, our crops flower multiple times a year,” said Jan Kempen, Crop Specialist at Bejo Zaden. “Thanks to our dedicated light recipes from Signify, we can steer the light spectrum and intensity for each individual crop and growth phase. We’re able to force flowering or prevent plants from bolting. For asparagus, we are now getting stronger, more vigorous tissue culture plants.”
Bejo Zaden first used supplemental lighting and later LED lighting to speed up the breeding process for new varieties, which typically takes 10 to 15 years. After several trials in smaller climate-controlled rooms, set up by their long-term horticulture partner Lek Habo, Bejo Zaden reached out to Signify in 2017 to help them implement a larger climate-controlled room. Signify’s plant specialists helped the company develop a custom-made growing process in the right environment and created special light recipes to meet the company’s requirements.
“Bejo Zaden tries to accelerate breeding of more disease-resistant seed varieties, said Udo van Slooten, Business Leader Horticulture at Signify. “Our LED solutions give growers the control they need to move to new cultivation techniques that are both sustainable and profitable.”
Bejo Zaden will share the results during their Open Days September 24 – 28th.