China has halved the rice growth cycle to around 60 days in a nursery using innovative technology for crop breeding, said Yang Qichang, a researcher of the Institute of Urban Agriculture at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Yang, also chief scientist of the nursery team at the institute, said the experimental rice provided by the China National Rice Research Institute were dwarf varieties suitable for vertical cultivation on multi-story shelves.
The experiment was conducted with LEDs providing the best lighting conditions in different growing periods. Cultivation trays supplied targeted nutrients based on growing needs while factors such as temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide concentration were under precise control.
Two of the six dwarf varieties were harvested in 63 days, nearly half of the usual 120-day growing period on farmland, and yielded 9.78 metric tons per hectare. Crops can only be harvested two to three times a year on farmland, while the nursery is expected to produce six generations of crop.
"This technique greatly shortens the breeding cycle and improves cultivation efficiency, setting an example for other crops," Yang said.
Read more at China Daily