- Managing Director, UK
- Teelt Specialist Potplanten
- Sales Manager Bio / Netherlands
- Production Manager
- Assistant Professor - Controlled Environments Entomologist
- Technical Development Specialist | Horticulture | France
- Director of Business Development | Middle East | Agtech
- Farm/Production Manager; Berlin (m/w/d)
- Trader Asian Market
- Avocado Growing Manager - Kenya
Top 5 -yesterday
- New report outlines and quantifies catastrophic loss from the tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV)
- Taking lettuce production outside of California
- "We use robotics, machine imaging and AI to automate tomato harvesting"
- "Increasing demand for coconut substrate and sustainable cultivation systems with circular fertilizers"
- Indoor grower opens new facility in Kentucky
Top 5 -last week
- “Significantly better results with new Iron fertilizers”
- What is the status of tomato brown rugose fruit virus in Europe?
- Race to emission-free greenhouse cultivation pushes growers to keep innovating
- BASF’s vegetable seeds and IUNU partner to advance digital phenotyping for hydroponic lettuce
- Infarm to make strategy shift, cuts 500 jobs
Top 5 -last month
- UK growers stop planting and put nurseries on sale amidst energy crisis and labor shortage
- "You can't grow on water without lights"
- "High-tech farmer AppHarvest is running out of money"
- German family company switches from tomato cultivation to hydroponic lettuce
- Mobile aeroponic system requires less maintenance and guarantees even irrigation
Joakim Rytterborn, Head of Research & Development at Plantagon:
"We're not killing the farmer – yet"
by Joakim Rytterborn, Head of Research & Development at Plantagon
Many Ag-Tech companies seem to believe so, arguing that with adequate farm data anyone can produce like a horticulturist. Such arguments have led many young entrepreneurs to jump head first into the emerging business of vertical farming, where outcomes often result in bankruptcy.
Any person could plant a seed and make it grow, but earning a living from agriculture is much more difficult. To grow a plant with optimal yield, you need to understand Liebig's law of the minimum. It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource. Since there are many variables required for crop growth, determining those variables perfectly is difficult. If done incorrectly at the start, this feat becomes even more difficult to correct when the crop starts dying.
Today you can monitor almost any part of plant growth with sensors. You can use cameras to detect anomalies and Machine Learning to collect and interpret the “Big data”. The output will help find best practice and save lots of time identifying variables, or that sweet spot, needed for growth. All setups are different, however, and the differences in the setup can skew data collected; for example, if a ventilation system doesn't give all plants exactly the same airflow, the “Big data” will give false advice.
Even with the latest technology available, you can never replace an educated grower with sensors or remote supervision. You need skill and experience to detect limiting factors such as deficiencies and pests, and take appropriate actions.
In parallel to the development of new technology, we need to start educating a new generation of farmers: a vertical farmer that is equipped with a green thumb and adept at reading “big data”. Great steps in this direction have been taken by MIT’s OpenAg project, which strives for the “creation of an open-source ecosystem of food technologies that enable and promote transparency, networked experimentation, education, and hyper-local production”, and by Bright Agrotech, which launched an online learning platform dedicated to teach ”everything you need to know about growing”, called Upstart University. We need more initiatives like these if we are going to solve future food security issues. Seeing farming data as intellectual property with a price tag attached doesn’t serve a greater good.
Plantagon supports similar initiatives and believes in making this important occupation popular once more by collaborating with a Swedish state-owned company to educate future Urban Farmers. Technology will never replace the farmer, that's why you will always find horticultural experts at Plantagon urban farms.
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Other news in this sector:
- 2021-10-26 Singapore: Renewed library now features hydroponics room
- 2021-10-21 Teens for Food Justice program awarded 300k by USDA for hydroponic expansion
- 2021-10-20 Collaboration on 700 m2 pilot farm in China
- 2021-10-20 Tackling climate issues with low-resource consuming growing towers
- 2021-10-19 ‘It’s not as carbon-hungry’: UK’s largest sunlit vertical farm begins harvest
- 2021-10-19 Unmanned vertical farm in China: is this what the future looks like?
- 2021-10-15 "We can focus more on quality and how the product satisfies consumer needs”
- 2021-10-15 UK grower trials aeroponic propagation system
- 2021-10-13 Irish supermarket to sell hydroponic microgreens
- 2021-10-08 China: Why the growth cycle of rice can be split in half
- 2021-10-01 Todd P. Hanna announced as new COO
- 2021-09-22 This "glass tree" vertical farm could solve urban food deserts
- 2021-09-16 Chinese scientists grow rice that yields twice faster in hydroponic experiment
- 2021-09-02 Building facilities across Canada, as well as in Greater London and Copenhagen
- 2021-09-01 US (PA): Mobile lab brings aquaponics closer to society
- 2021-08-26 Fresh herbs from halls and bunkers
- 2021-08-26 "The base of our technology is R&D in product development"
- 2021-08-16 "We reduced the cost of cooling by just cooling the plant roots”
- 2021-07-08 Danish retail is committed to vertical crop products
- 2021-07-08 "Crops from the vertical farm have more flavor and a longer shelf life"