Together with aeroponic technology experts LettUs Grow (UK), Wageningen University and Research (NL) are conducting side-by-side trials to evaluate ultrasonic aeroponic and hydroponic irrigation systems. The trials’ main goal is to increase the academic literature’s understanding of aeroponics in order to promote cutting-edge agricultural methods in the future.
According to LettUs Grow’s statement, the Netherlands has become a global leader in sustainable agriculture thanks to its adoption of the Quadruple Helix Model of innovation (investing in and connecting science, policy, industry, and society). Wageningen is an example of this. Despite its small size, the nation is now a significant player in agriculture and the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products.
In the soilless growing technique of hydroponics, plant roots are periodically or continuously immersed in a nutrient solution, whereas in the soilless growing technique of aeroponics, plant roots are irrigated with a fine mist of water and nutrients. High-frequency sound waves are used in ultrasonic aeroponics to shake water and nutrients until they scatter into many small droplets, much like a mist.
The LettUs Grow-supplied ultrasonic aeroponic system will be tested in a greenhouse environment alongside the ebb and flow and deep water culture hydroponic systems. Over the course of five months, the study will be carried out at the greenhouse facilities on the Wageningen campus.
In addition to possibly comparing the energy costs involved with each of the three irrigation methods, the studies will assess basil crop growth, development, and quality when grown in greenhouses. Researcher will compile information on:
- Growth rate
- Nutritional content
- Shelf life
- Plant physiological characteristics
- The effects of seasonality
- Energy consumption.
LettUs Grow will be actively participating in the experiment as it is a scientific cooperation rather than an external trial.
LettUs Grow’s Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder, Jack Farmer, stated: “It is incredibly satisfying as a UK technology firm within the CEA sector to be partnering with the finest academics in the domain. It is a key tenet for us that everything we do and promote is founded on excellent research. We appreciate the chance to strengthen our ties with Dutch horticulture, which we see as a leader in the field and a pillar of the economy.”
The experiments will be overseen by Dr. Katharina Huntenburg and Prof. Leo Marcelis of Wageningen University’s department of horticulture and product physiology. “We are pleased to perform this research in collaboration with Lettus Grow, addressing an essential subject with respect to maximizing growth and quality crucial for greenhouse and vertical farm production systems,” Marcelis added.
Image provide by Wageningen University & Research