Constructed in 2015 at a cost of £400K, Myerscough College’s new glasshouse provides a controlled environment for commercial crop production, research and education. It allows environmental conditions to be optimised for specific plant growth so that investigations can be carried out into how these optimum parameters can be determined. The glasshouse includes CO2 enrichment, coming from the gas boiler flue and supplementary lighting, both as metal halide lamps and LED lighting. The LED lighting can give the same light intensity as the metal halide lighting but using less than a third of the energy. LED lighting also enables plants to be exposed to increased light without the corresponding increase in temperature that often accompanies other supplementary light sources. The glasshouse has full computer control of the environment including the supplementary lighting, CO2 enrichment, thermal and light screens, ventilation, heating, irrigation and humidity. The glasshouse includes five different compartments, allowing comparisons between different environmental settings, plus compartments with mobile benching for efficient use of space. At least three commercial companies have expressed an interest in using the glasshouse space for trial work. Already, work undertaken in this glasshouse has contributed towards a Levity Crop Science product that has help achieved world-record wheat and oil seed rape yields. Another trial has contributed towards an ICL product that has the ability to reduce nematode numbers in turf, a result that has subsequently been verified in a field trial conducted at the training ground of a premiership football club.


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