100-word explainer: What is speed breeding?

It’s being hailed as the ‘new green revolution’; it’s taking science and media by storm. But what is ‘speed breeding’?

Speed breeding is an indoor plant growing technique. It shortens harvest time (2-3x faster) of crops like wheat and barley. Plants need light to carry out photosynthesis and grow. Plants grown indoor are usually grown under inefficient lamps for 10h/day. But speed breeding exposes plants to optimal LED lights for 22h/day, sending plants into photosynthesis overdrive and maximising plant growth. Scientists hope speed breeding will accelerate agricultural research and increase food production to meet the demands of a rising population.

Space age plant breeding lights the way for future crops from The University of Queensland on Vimeo.

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