Historic Cotton Research Site Installs LumiGrow LED Lights
The Shafter Research Station, operated and managed by the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association, selected computer-controlled LumiGrow LED greenhouse lights for its research greenhouses. The energy-efficient LumiGrow LED systems will lower energy costs while they provide scientists conducting research at the facility with the latest greenhouse lighting technology.
Established in 1922 as the USDA Shafter Cotton Research Station, the site faced closure in 2012 when federal funds were withdrawn. A community of growers and elected officials rallied to save the site as a non-profit research facility. Today, Shafter Research remains a world-leading center for cotton research. Scientists in residence investigate critical challenges facing cotton growers including long-term drought and the soil-borne pathogen FOV4. Now found only in California’s San Joaquin Valley, FOV4 poses a threat to the $25 billion U.S. cotton industry should it spread.
Since the change in leadership from the U.S. government to a public-private partnership, a broader scope of research is underway at the 80-acre Shafter facility. This reflects the diversification of crops grown in the region, including carrots, cucumbers, grapes, squash, tomatoes and zucchini. Shafter Research is also the site of studies on honeybee health, of tremendous significance to the region’s almond growers, as well as cross-pollinating crop producers around the globe.
Leading agricultural institutions and agribusinesses lease space at the Shafter Research Station, attracted by technologies like the LumiGrow LED Light System. The LumiGrow solution enables the customization of greenhouse lighting based on factors including region, climate, crop type and desired crop characteristics. By tuning light levels and spectra in accordance with plant needs, greenhouse operators boost crop yield and quality while they gain electrical cost savings of up to 70 percent compared to conventional greenhouse lighting.
Reflecting on his family’s 100-year legacy of farming in the valley, Greg Palla, executive vice president and general manager of the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association, says, “My father’s generation understood that if you are efficient with your resources they will sustain you. Technologies and practices must evolve along with our understanding of natural systems. Our decision to replace energy-wasting greenhouse lights with the energy-efficient LumiGrow LED system demonstrates our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.”
For more information about the Shafter Research Station, visit www.shafter-research.com.
For more information about LumiGrow, visit www.lumigrow.com.