Viva, Las Vegas! Nevada’s Cultiva nets $2.94m funding to stop crops getting sunburn
May 5, 2020
As any fruit farmer will tell you, sunlight is great — until your trees get sunburnt.
The scorching of high value fruits like apples or pears is already a major cause of costly yield losses for farms in warmer climates. Anticipating a future of ever hotter summers, agronomic attention is swiftly turning to how farms can better shield their harvests from excessive blasts of sunshine.
Gene editing or more traditional breeding methods is one avenue, and there are dozens of lab projects across the world looking to produce crops with higher heat or sun tolerance. Another avenue is experimenting with more proactive responses to the surrounding environment. Better netting designs to provide shade; smarter use of calcium carbonate or kaolin clay powders to provide sunscreen; or novel over-crop sprinkling systems to offer evaporative cooling.