From semi-automatic control systems, to fully automatic control systems, more and more growers are seeing the benefits that automation brings to their growing environments.
Here are a few of the reasons to consider automating the environmental controls in your commercial greenhouse:
Creates and maintains an ideal environment
Managing environmental factors including heat, humidity, light levels and ventilation can be a lot to take care of. Automated controls helps to ease much of the burden and challenge growers face having to manage every single environmental factor. Automatic controls can be fully integrated into all parts of your greenhouse system to keep your environment attuned to the needs of your crops without the need for constant monitoring and adjustment. Installing an automation system in your commercial greenhouse will help to build consistent and predictable cycles that will maintain an ideal growing environment.
Reduces energy costs
One of the biggest benefits automation can provide is the ability to reduce overall production costs. An integrated automated system does require capital costs but the long term savings are worth it. The technology has improved and with so many options available, automation is available to almost any grower with any budget. Too many growers are losing money due to inefficient energy use, but an automated system will ensure your systems are working as a cohesive unit which will save you on overall production costs.
Combats location issues
An integrated automation system can help growers in locations where the climate can be restrictive for growing. For example, growers in the floriculture industry who supply big box retailers with their product cannot be restricted or miss deadlines because of a colder-than-usual spring, or lower than expected light levels. The same is true for garden centers that need to make sure they have quality products available for the spring and summer season. An automated system ensures that you can grow your product on your terms, no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
Automation can be customized
Your greenhouse systems can be automated according to your preference and within your budget. There are a number of options available from simple automation solutions to more complex, fully integrated systems. A smaller grower may wish to start by automating just a few key systems to introduce better consistency and to lower their labor costs. Automation can always be improved upon or increased as needed. Once you are comfortable with one system, it can usually be adapted to solve other issues. For example, mechanical timers can be replaced with soil sensors and thermostatic controls that provide your control system with feedback to properly adjust itself according to the needs of your crops.
Automation will help with the challenges of managing and maintaining an ideal growing environment, but to ensure the system works as efficiently as possible, it’s important to perform regular system checkups and preventative maintenance. We recommend that you review your controls over as many seasons as possible, noting previous tendencies to determine the parameters you should set for the current season. It’s important that you not become complacent and pay attention to your controls to make the adjustments to avoid any negative effects on your crops and wasting energy unnecessarily.