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Technolution presents Sense2Grow
"Sensors will change the job of the grower"Greenhouse sensors have been experimented with for some time, but until now both high costs and technical problems prevented a wide implementation. Now it really seems possible. Technolution has developed sensors that in terms of accuracy and cost are interesting, while the biggest problem, the collection of data, seems to have been solved. The concept, baptized as Sense2Grow, was presented by the company in Gouda, in the Netherlands.
A crowd of about 35, the majority of them growers, attended the presentation.
Concepts such as Internet of Things and Big Data are often heard nowadays. An infinite amount of information is said to be up for grabs, and with it an endless number of solutions for an endless amount of problems. This also goes for cultivation. As long as there is sufficient information available in the greenhouse about climate and crop, this can lead to an increase in production, to quality improvements and ever progressive sustainability.
Marcel Dukker, Technolution, kicks off the meeting. "The purpose of Sense2Grow in essence is rest at night, increase of (the quality of) production and to gain progress with sustainability."
John de Ridder, also of Technolution. "We specialize in data management and sensors. Whatever you want to measure and what you want to do with the results, is up to you."
Of course there are plenty of problems: what are you actually measuring, exactly where and when? And does it really help you? What criteria do you require from the data, on what findings are you going to draw conclusions and 'react'? These are questions for the grower (or, for example for LetsGrow, with whom a close cooperation has been established), but then the system itself provides the input. Sense2Grow is going to prove itself in practice, according to the people behind Technolution and the first growers who are experimenting with it. First measuring, then putting things together and then to consult with each other.
Christiaan Posthumus of LetsGrow, about the question: "Is it possible to digitize the growing process?" (And the answer: "I believe we are moving to a situation where the grower operates from a 'control room'.")
The sensors are equipped with so-called Lora technology. Lora (Long range low power) is a kind of radio signal and has several advantages over other types of signals: it carries far and indeed consumes little energy, but lacks many drawbacks of existing signals (such as WiFi or 4G). Now that the sensors, in terms of design and functionality are economical, accurate, reliable and above all affordable enough to install in numbers in the greenhouse, extensive use in practice is interesting.
Peter Post of PincAgro, talks about the importance of Big Data, network infrastructure and business continuity.
Leon Dukker, Porta Nova
One of the growers, Porta Nova, has implemented the system in their greenhouse. At the meeting, Dukker graciously shared some of his initial findings with the public. Sensors were hung at 25 meter intervals, the collected information gave several exciting insights. Often differences appear to be bigger than expected and sometimes there seems to be no logic. Without going into detail, Leon Dukker estimates that a total yield increase of 5% should be achievable, if the climate is optimized and is evenly distributed throughout the greenhouse.
For more information:
Burgemeester Jamessingel 1
2803 WV Gouda
T: +31 (0) 182 59 4000
Publication date: 3/17/2017
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