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How Glasshouses Could Be Used to Maximise Crop Production

  • Date Submitted: 01/03/2014 11:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 33 
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How glasshouses could be used to maximize crop production
Various controllable factors within glasshouses can affect the annual crop production, therefore conditions can be altered as to achieve maximum crop yield. Factors such as light intensity and temperature affect the plants ability to grow and cultivate to produce a yieldable crop, so the glasshouse environment can be adapted accordingly to enable efficient and optimum rate of photosynthesis and gaseous exchange.
Light is fundamentally the most important factor affecting crop production in a greenhouse. Light affects the photosynthetic production in crops as light-dependent reactions use energy from sunlight to create ATP and reduce NADP. Light-dependent reactions are a series of processes including photophosphorylation, photolysis and the production of reduced NADP. The energy captured from sunlight is received by chlorophyll, causing a pair of chlorophylls electrons to become excited and escape the molecule. The released electrons are ultimately used in reducing NADP, and continue to do so, passing electrons down to electron carriers at lower energy levels which enables the production of reduced NADP to continue. Therefore, an adequate amount of light is essential for maximum crop production. Some plants have naturally evolved for this, and their leaves have large surface areas and are evenly spaced with minimal overlap to allow maximum light contact. If light becomes a limiting factor, supplementary lighting may be used in order to allow continuous high crop production. This may be particularly necessary in a world where increasing populations can have great effects on food availability. However, whilst supplementary lighting does enable and increased production during low-light intensity periods, it is not always economically feasible therefore may only be used when absolutely necessary. Conversely, too much light can also be a problem so screens or shading may be used to manipulate light rays and...

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