By contrast, when asparagus plants are cut too long, the sugar level is depleted and the quality declines. Wageningen UR researchers are working on a computer programme to advise asparagus growers on the best possible moment to stop harvesting.
Starting asparagus harvesting as early as possible is one thing, but it is quite another to reliably stop harvesting at the most opportune moment.
Asparagus are basically stems that are still under the soil, without any leaves above. This is why growing asparagus stems costs the plant such an enormous amount of energy. Plants have to store that energy in their roots during the previous year, which is why growers cannot just continue harvesting the stems. Cutting too long means that there will be insufficient energy left in the roots to obtain enough stems above the ground. These stems grow needles (the leaves) that the asparagus plant uses to create sugars, which are then stored in the roots to be used during the next season.
The traditional saying that asparagus should not be cut after 24 June, Saint John’s Day, no longer applies. Growers are able to start harvesting much earlier in the year than was previously the case. This is made possible, for example, by using the residual heat of an energy unit to heat the soil. What has not changed, however, is the need to stop cutting at the right time. Farmers aim to stop at the optimal moment: not too late and not too soon.
The sugar level of the roots is therefore a key factor in the vitality of these plants. Unfortunately, the sugar level as an absolute value is an insufficient indicator of when to stop cutting. The main indicator is the reduction in sugar levels, which is why Wageningen UR is partnering with the Geisenheim Research Station in Germany to develop a computer programme that will assist Dutch asparagus growers in determining the precise moment to stop cutting. The growers regularly measure the sugar level of the roots with a simple device, which does not take much time. Based on the results, the computer programme gives advice on when to stop cutting asparagus.
The computer programme is called Aspire and will be tested on ten Dutch asparagus farms during the 2008 season. The researchers expect that this pilot will offer a sufficient basis for widespread use in the 2009 season.
Jac Niessen | alfa
Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München
The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering