Sunscreen for Plants Could Increase Worldwide Crop Yields

According to clean chemical company Purfresh, food growers lose between 20 and 40 percent of their crops every year due to sun damage, especially in water-limited regions. The company recently developed a kind of "plant sunscreen" rated at SPF 45 that protects crops from harmful UV and IR rays while permitting beneficial rays to reach the plants.

Corn field.Corn field.Called "Purshade (TM)," the sunscreen reduces solar stress and improves water utilization efficiency. Growers spray the product, which can be mixed with other pre-harvest sprays, on their crops. Purshade forms a thin film of tiny prisms that reflect certain parts of the sun's spectrum. It lasts throughout the season, and is easily removed after harvesting through traditional processing and washing.

Already, studies have shown that Purshade reduces physical damage caused by the sun in crops located around the world. Not only does it minimize crop loss, but it also improves plant quality. Purshade's developers predict that plant sunscreen will become more valuable with the increasingly harsh growing conditions and hotter climates of the future.

Most recently, Purshade made TIME Magazine's 50 best inventions of 2008, coming in at #44 .

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Nov 3, 2008
by Anonymous

Just great . . .

More chemicals!

Nov 4, 2008
by Beth Graddon-Hodgson
Beth Graddon-Hodgson's picture

While it's good to see a

While it's good to see a product promoting crop sustainability, I'd have to agree that they use other chemicals for the very same purpose. In theory I think it's a good idea, but I'm surprised that in a time when people are so concerned about organic and natural products, this would be developed.

 Great find though, Lisa!

Beth Hodgson
Innovative Business Writer