Tungsram Agritech’s experts delivered several presentations on the benefits of LED technologies and the related intelligent solutions designed for precision indoor farming at the PREGA Precision Farming and Agricultural IT conference organised recently in Budapest.
Closed-system farming provides the solution to the biggest challenges in the future of global food supply, explained Bence Szöllősi from Tungsram Agritech. Soil contamination, the depletion of areas suitable for agricultural production, extreme weather conditions, the rising volume of food waste, urbanization and the growing demand for quality food all point towards the increasing importance of indoor farming and urban vertical farms. The proliferation of LED technology has brought about a veritable revolution in vertical farming as it allows for energy-efficient lighting conditions necessary for plant growth. In addition, the technology ensures that less water and virtually no agricultural land is needed for crop production, there is no waste generation while pests and contamination can be avoided due to the closed system. Light is the alpha and the omega of indoor farming, but relying on conventional solutions in the age of new technology could easily end up costing the future of the business, warned Lőrinc Utasi, an expert at Tungsram Agritech.
“In this day and age, we need to speak in Daily Light Integral (DLI) and μmol/m2/s, not in lux or lumen, the units of measurement used so far in lighting. Values determined in lumens and lux are based on the sensitivity of the human eye, while PAR denotes the area that plants need for photosynthesis and this covers a much wider range,” Utasi pointed out in his presentation. The speaker highlighted that with a well-chosen lighting the oil content of mint can be tripled, and the protein content of spinach can be increased by 15%, while certain undesirable nutrients can be reduced in a targeted manner.
Kristóf Rakonczai presented the basic elements of a properly designed supplementary lighting strategy. The expert from Tungsram Agritech stressed that assessing the right amount and type of light that plants require is an essential first step in putting together such a strategy and determining the appropriate DLI and PPFD (photosynthetic active radiation) as well as choosing the optimal light spectrum are of key importance. The precise adjustment of lighting uniformity is also vital, and it is advisable to divide the area to be illuminated into sectors because this yields much more detailed and easier-to-process data.