Years before the climate agenda hit the breeding companies, DLF took a bold move in gathering breeders and scientists from public and private organizations in pursuit of advancing crop breeding for future climates.
With this consortium, DLF built the world’s largest open-field root screening facility, RadiMax, which can test up to 600 plant lines simultaneously in its four 10×40 m V-shaped pits. All of them are equipped with a unique irrigation system, designed by computer simulation to generate the most efficient selection system for deep rooting. In support for this selection, more than three kilometres of plexiglass tubes provide visual access for multispectral cameras imaging the root profiles of each single line.
For the first time it has become possible to uncover the hidden world of root growth at a breeding scale and relate it to the most pertinent climate threat: Drought! The first screenings were conducted in 2016 and based on the results DLF has been able to supply forage and turf customers with varieties, having verified deep rooting and superior drought stress tolerance.