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Commodities

Japanese venture uses LED tech to triple soybean yield

Hokkaido company spurs growth by drying roots under special lights

A Kurosengoku black soybean plant, which had its roots cut off and bud pruned (bottom), and another grown using a standard method.

SAPPORO, Japan -- A Japanese venture company on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido has developed a way to triple soybean yield by drying roots under light-emitting diode lighting.

According to Shinnouken, which develops technology to cultivate seedlings, exposure to LED lighting produces an effect similar to root pruning, one of the traditional methods of applying stress to plants to increase yield. The other method is pruning the buds.

The company plans to initially harvest a total of 5 tons of soybeans using the LED method, and to sell seedlings and soybeans and make processed soybean health foods.

Shinnouken conducted a test on Kurosengoku black soybean, a local specialty in the Hokkaido town of Hokuryu with the support of a researcher of soybean genetics at Hokkaido University's School of Agriculture.

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