Exploring the relationship of greenhouse pests to LED lights

A study was conducted by Ecoation and Allegro Acres, a pepper-producing company in southern Ontario, to test the hypothesis that dynamic LED lighting in greenhouses affects pest development. The lighting fixture, supplied by Sollum Technologies, allows specific programming of intensity, spectrum and light period. For 24 weeks between October 2021 and March 2022, the environmental platform collected IPM and climate data through a mobile hardware package called OKO, which was used to collect pest, disease and biocontrol monitoring in 20-50% of all greenhouse rows each week. . One Allegro greenhouse is divided into six different zones, with five zones receiving a standard light prescription of 16 hours of light per day, and zone six receiving a customer’s prescription of 24 hours of light per day for about a month. For the remaining five months, she received 16 hours of light per day.

Preliminary results of the study show that the pest, disease and plant physiological responses were different between the two regions. It was found that seven of the most important pests and diseases showed the least presence in the 24-hour lighting area. However, two pests showed their highest levels in this region as well. While more research is needed to establish causation, the results show the potential for incorporating different lighting recipes into integrated pest management strategies.

The environment platform collected temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) in both the upper and lower greenhouse canopy. The different light recipe was found not to significantly affect any of these metrics except for potential humidity. The biggest difference in the local climate measurements was photosynthetically active radiation. District 21, which received the assigned light prescription, showed the lowest measured environmental PAR throughout the trial period, with up to 25% less usable light for plants than some other areas.

The study shows that monitoring technology and data assessment of ecoation can be used to answer some of the most pressing questions farmers are asking today. The results indicate that the use of dynamic LED lighting in greenhouses can have an impact on pest development and can be incorporated into integrated pest management strategies. More research is needed to understand the causal relationship of the findings and to develop effective methods for light-assisted pest and disease management.

You can request a copy of the white paper after providing your first and last name, company name and email address at: https://get.ecoation.com/greenhouse-pest-led-light-ipm

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