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How one grower uses LEDs to improve propagation

In Rapidan, Va., temperatures and light intensity rise to extremes that are not always conducive to acclimating stage three tissue culture in a greenhouse. To satisfy perennial orders in later times of the year, Battlefield Farms, an annual, perennial and poinsettia grower with 45 acres of undercover production area based in Rapidan, previously propagated sensitive tissue culture (TC) in the greenhouse. And it came at a cost. “With the environmental conditions we had at the time, on certain varieties – certain cultivars – we were having up to probably 40 percent losses,” says Travis Higginbotham, research and development manager at Battlefield. “And it wasn’t due to practices – we had tried our best to manipulate the greenhouse as best as possible. We had taken an entire section and wrapped it. We had 50 percent shade cloth installed, we had foggers to increase the humidity to try to make it as successful as an acclimating area as possible. But we were still having a lot of problems with many different cultivars.”

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