LESA Senior Research Scientist and plant physiologist Tessa Pocock and New York Assemblymember Carrie Woerner.

LESA Senior Research Scientist and plant physiologist Tessa Pocock was asked to participate as an expert on greenhouse lighting in a recent panel discussion for agricultural business owners and local farmers hosted by New York Assemblymember Carrie Woerner. The “Ag-Tech Roundtable” was part of a larger initiative aimed at creating an open dialogue of finding solutions to modern agriculture problems affecting crop production, efficient and sustainable farming methods, best practices, and industry insights. The roundtable is part of Woerner’s push for a bill supporting new farmers and preserving farmland.

New York has one of the shortest North American growing seasons and a challenging topography, making greenhouse farming a necessary component of the state’s agriculture economic prosperity. According to Woerner’s assembly.gov page, agriculture is a critical industry across New York state, and her “Farmland for a New Generation” program will help ensure the success of family farms for many years to come by supporting both current and new farmers, and protecting local farmland.

During the fact-finding session, Pocock presented research-based evidence for the use of tunable LED light systems in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) to modulate and adjust crop growth cycles and nutritional value while decreasing energy use.

“Broader assessment and research of the available LED spectra in horticulture is required to develop precisely tuned light algorithms or ‘recipes’ for achieving the desired results,” Pocock said. Her contributions in this specialized capacity led to the recent formation of the GLASE collaboration between LESA and Cornell University’s CEA group supported by NYSERDA. Representatives from other agricultural interest groups were in attendance as well.

Pocock will be presenting at this year’s members only Industry-Academia Days in April. This LESA sponsored event is open to the center’s industry members. Pocock will share research insights and industry expertise along with a tour of her LESA-based plant research laboratory.