Turning Photons Into Food

In this video, Dr. Bruce Bugbee shows the calculations necessary to determine drop yield potential when light is the only limiting factor. This is now widely used to predict yields in indoor agriculture and vertical farming. The approach starts from the efficiency of photosynthesis (measured as quantum yield), expands to include the efficiency of respiration (called carbon use efficiency) and includes photon capture efficiency and harvest index. The model is called the Energy Cascade Model. It has been used by NASA to model the size of a space farm in regenerative food production. It is also used by the USDA to calculate potential yield of agriculture on Earth.

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