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Glasshouse Conference Signals Quantum Leap in Engineering and Plant Science Technology

The Teagasc National Protected Crops Conference is taking place in Teagasc Ashtown today, Wednesday, 1 May. At the conference the major developments which are unfolding in protected cropping were outlined, such as advances in the engineering of glasshouses and important efficiencies in energy and light control.

Cutting edge plant science is now providing major advances in production efficiencies and also facilitating the enhancement of crops with desirable human health bioactive compounds.

Dr. Michael Gaffney, Teagasc Horticultural Researcher at Ashtown, put an international panel of speakers together to deliver this innovative and informative conference. Michael emphasised that “Over the next 5 years advancements in light technology, energy management and biological crop protection should result in significant yield increases across a range of crops, continuing the rapid growth of this vibrant horticultural sector.”

Jim O’Mahony, Teagasc Head of Horticulture pointed to our potential to massively increase crop production independently of the vagaries of Irish weather by taking advantage of scientific developments. Jim said development in protected horticultural production is undergoing a quantum leap in terms of glasshouse technology engineering and plant science technology e.g. use of LED lighting for plant growth and disease control. This is resulting in major increases in productivity. Coupling this with a coordinated approach to production and marketing as is being done to great advantage in our flourishing mushrooms sector can result in a significant horticultural development creating significant employment.