Israeli-based, ASX-listed Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX: ROO) has successfully used its specialist cooling technology to increase the harvest yield of basil plants by 30%.
Testing of the Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) was carried out under extreme heat in the Arava desert in Israel.
Roots CEO, Dr Sharon Devir said that while basil is grown and harvested in warmer months, the plant is highly susceptible to extreme weather conditions, leading to high mortality rates for producers and unprofitable farming practices.
“The basil cooling test results reaffirms Roots’ product offering and validates the value we can offer producers year-round,” Dr Devir said.
“Our RZTO cooling technology significantly improves yield on a range of crops, including basil, when compared to uncontrolled crops and saves on plant replacement costs due to reduced risk of mortality rates from volatile weather conditions.
“RZTO offers options for producers’ with increased planting cycles during traditional off-seasons and provides significant savings on energy costs when compared to commonly used air heating and cooling systems.
Dr Devir said by using RZTO cooling technology, Roots was able to reduce plant mortality by more than 60%, resulting in a 30% increase in yield compared to un-cooled control crops.
The positive results follow previous tests in winter near the Mediterranean Coast where Roots’ RZTO technology was used to heat the roots of basil to increase yields by 66% and average plant size by 35%.