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Bio-based circular solutions

Addressing the root cause of resilient crops

27. November 2023

Solution provider

DLF Seeds

Science develops better seeds.

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Together with the University of Copenhagen, DLF is testing the root architecture of crop varieties at the world’s most advanced root screening facility, RadiMax. It enables imaging of roots down to three metres depth and at the same time, the grasses can be exposed to increasing drought conditions through a soil moisture gradient, which can be induced in the system. This makes it possible to screen the root architecture of our varieties and find out which ones can perform under drought conditions.


RadiMax 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 election system for deep rooting. In support of 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, namely drought. Since the first screenings were conducted in 2016, DLF has been able to supply forage and turf customers with varieties, having verified deep rooting and superior drought stress tolerance. Through this facility, DLF has identified varieties with 30 percent deeper root mass and correspondingly better drought tolerance.

Producing more with less

This case is a part of the white paper “Producing more with less”. Discover Denmark’s journey in transforming global food systems for a more sustainable and resilient future.