Intravision Group was in 2018 awarded a NSERC grant to research plants in cooperation with CESRF University of Guelph. The grant includes one PhD candidate and two MsC candidates. The candidates are presenting their own work on this and similar pages, and updates will follow.
Presentation by: Daniel Bayley, Master Student, Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility
Optimizing Growing Conditions for Romaine Lettuce (Lactuca Sativa L. var. Longifolia)
Production in a Plant Factory (Vertical Farm).
Plant Factories (PF) are indoor crop production facilities which utilize high cropping densities and vertically integrated growing tiers. These systems have incredible potential to manipulate yields, morphological, and metabolic features of crops to offer improved features compared to traditional field agriculture. However, research into the right conditions in which to grow each crop is essential. Deprived of the optimal growing conditions these systems miss out on potential yield and/or fail to produce a marketable crop. Although there have been many studies performed on the cultivation of leafy greens in these facilities, romaine lettuce has been virtually ignored. This research will address the lack of information on optimal growing conditions to
enable PF’s to tap into the estimated $2.4 billion romaine industry in North America.
The growing parameters to be analyzed include: planting density, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, temperature, hydroponic nutrient requirements, and lighting regime. The proposed research will lead to a sustainable method of romaine lettuce production to increase agricultural efficiency, meet global demand, and increase food safety.