A studentship is available to work with Phytoponics and Aberystwyth University, giving the successful applicant the chance to consider what makes a successful hydroponic crop and how can we improve the agronomy of hydroponics to maximise the yield, efficiency of production and crop quality.
South Wales-based has developed the Hydrosac, a novel device for growing plants hydroponically that expands the range of applications of hydroponics. According to the firm the Hydrosac opens up the opportunity to develop novel agronomy for large scale hydroponics and to develop varieties that are specifically selected for use in hydroponic agriculture.
The project will grow a diverse population from a range of potential salad crops in Hydrosacs, identifying suitable variations to improve plant growth for hydroponic systems and will identify what characteristics are associated with superior performance to establish the characteristics that define a successful hydroponic crop. A major outcome will be to identify the potential impact of new breeding programmes specific for hydroponic agriculture.
Specific aims include identifying crop phenotypes in hydroponic and conventional growing systems, testing how different crops may be optimally linked through hydroponics to maximise the use of nutrient and space, and performing a large scale test of selected crop types to confirm in detail improvements in hydroponics using the Hydrosac for yield and nutrient content.
Photo Credit: Phytoponics
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A student at Cambridge University has won an industry award for developing a new concept for salad harvesting.
Armand de Durfort, a graduate from Ecole Polytechnique who has just completed his MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management at the University of Cambridge, developed his SoftHarvest system in cooperation with G’s Growers.
“The first challenge was to teach the harvester to recognise the lettuce and distinguish it from other green plants. The second was for it to pick the lettuce and cut it near to the ground without damaging it,” he explained.
“Our approach is to develop the vision recognition and control software and integrate this with a two-armed robot. By using existing hardware and adding considerable value with the application-specific software we aim to mitigate the risk of investment and provide a three-year return on investment.”
Presenting the Student award as part of Agri-Tech East’s GROW competition, Dr Belinda Clarke, said, “There is significant and growing demand for automation in agriculture as we move towards greater precision in all areas of the industry. Armand De Durfort produced a well researched business plan based on his direct experience of working with a commercial grower. It shows an appreciation of the narrow profit margins in this competitive market and the technology is inspirational.”
Photo Caption: Left-Right: David Langton (Agrii), Armand de Durfort (Softharvest), Phil Wigge (Pinpoint Phenomics), Belinda Clarke (Agri-Tech East)
Photo Credit: Agritech-East
The post Student develops salad harvester appeared first on Hort News on 13 July 2016.