The harvest of vegetables or fruits can be increased without the use of pesticides and fertilizers. This conclusion was reached by Chinese scientists, who made plants grow faster by using electric current, say AgroPages.
The scientists conducted their experiment on a salad. They involved 3,600 hectares of greenhouses located in various parts of the country – from the Gobi Desert of Xinjiang to developed coastal areas. This made the study the largest in the world. And the Chinese government financed it.
The project lasted almost three decades. Researchers took into account the results obtained on a different soil composition, under different climatic conditions and production technologies.
As it turned out, the electric current increased the salad yield by 20-30%. The use of pesticides decreased by 70-100%, and fertilizers decreased by 20%.
The greens were growing under the bare wire, which was located at a height of 3 meters above the soil level, and stretched from one to the other edge of the greenhouse. The wires generated an electrical charge of up to 50 thousand volts.
Scientists say that such a high-frequency electricity kills bacteria and viruses that transmit diseases in the air and soil. It also suppresses the surface tension of water on the leaves, speeding up evaporation.
Inside the plants, the transfer of charged particles, such as bicarbonate and calcium ions, is increased, metabolic activities are accelerated.
At the same time, Professor Liu Binjiang, a government researcher in agriculture and a leading member of the project, noted that the electrical current flowing through the wires was much lower than the workload on a smartphone.
“It absolutely does not harm plants or people standing nearby,” he said.
After the study, the area under electrified farms in China began to grow at a crazy rate, by 1000-1300 ha per year.