A 3D growing system devised by a UK business has been shown to increase crop productivity by 3-to-4 times and cut labour costs by 50%.
Horticultural business Saturn Bioponics has developed a new system that can grow more crops in a defined space and grow them faster.
The modular system lets growers cultivate ground crops in layers. As well as increasing crop density, this makes cultivating and harvesting cleaner and easier, reducing labour costs up to 50% and producing almost 100% saleable yield.
With precise hydroponic management, growers can maximise water and nutrient efficiency within the system’s closed loop – potentially gaining 30% more crop cycles in each 12-month period. They can also manipulate colour, flavour and shelf life.
Investment in the technology pays back in 1-to-4 years through increased profitability.
Innovate UK is funding the development of unique in-line sensing technology to further enhance the capabilities.
International growers interested in system
One major UK pak choi grower has achieved consistent yield of 11.5kg per square metre using the Saturn Grower. Average pak choi yield is 3kg/m2.
International growers are interested, including from China – the world’s largest market for such technology.