Zhang Pan used to think of agriculture as farmers wearing straw hats, carrying reaping hooks while laboring on the land despite strong winds or scorching heat, according to an article on Xinhuanet.com.
However, when he was accepted into a graduate program two years ago he realized that the natural environment can be controlled to prevent plants from harmful weather and improve productivity.
In the lab at Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, where Zhang studies, a piece of equipment emits a purple light onto several lettuce plants sitting in water. The temperature, humidity and light intensity are monitored by a control terminal.
Zhang and three other students from the university jointly developed the technology. “The equipment can control the root temperature of the crops and supplement sunlight at any time based on their needs,” he said. “It is one of the techniques of protected cultivation.”