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Pests, treatments, and microclimates: using AI to optimize pest management

Since commercial deployment in September 2019, the OKO platform has been operating in several greenhouses across North America and Europe, offering services in three critical areas: Closed-Loop IPM, Yield Production Assessment, and Crop Work Quality. ecoation is pleased to share data and AI insights from a series of commercial trials and experiments over the past 18-months in the form of a “Success Stories” series. These publications offer real-life use cases where ecoation’s platform and services have increased the efficiency of customer facilities, optimized treatment plans, and ultimately saved money. The first collection, IPM Success Stories, encompasses 4 case studies that illustrate cross-continental OKO platform results in the context of ecoation’s Closed-loop IPM services. Download the IPM Success Stories collection here.

“IPM programs are great alternatives for blanket pesticide applications but they are both costly and labour intensive. We used our AI platform to optimize IPM programs in four greenhouses in four different ways to showcase how growers can get more benefit from their existing IPM programs, enhance their efficiency, and cut costs without having a negative impact on the result. The nature of the OKO platform, and the fact that it digitizes IPM activities and rapidly broadcasts information, allows us to utilize our AI platform to optimize and cut costs in ways that are not possible with other platforms," commented ecoation Founder and CEO, Dr. Saber Miresmailli.

Robust programme
“Pest management represents an extremely challenging set of ongoing decisions to get right in a greenhouse operation," shared ecoation VP of Data Science, Greg Stewart. "The nature of scouting is challenging even for experts; decisions need to be made in uncertain conditions, and the effectiveness of biological and other treatments are impacted by many factors in a commercial greenhouse that cannot be reflected in a simple label rate. ecoation works with customers to use a data driven approach to uncover patterns in their IPM programs that can give actionable insights that can help find opportunities for profit. We’re happy to share these four case studies to give an example of what may be achieved.”

“Implementing a robust IPM programme is one of the most challenging aspects to high-tech greenhouse cultivation. By digitizing the entire IPM process, ecoation offers growers the ability to better assess biological threats to their operation. Every greenhouse can optimize their biological and chemical treatments if they allow the data to drive their decisions and actions. For many growers, approaching IPM this way represents a real step forward in how they manage the crop. What we’ve shown is that the ecoation platform can help a grower reduce input costs, improve fruit quality, and increase the sustainability of their operation. These success stories are an important testament to the global challenges faced by the greenhouse industry and the promise of the tools offered by precision agriculture,” commented Customer Success Manager, Gavin Schneider.

The IPM Success Stories collection, the first in a multi-part series that will detail the impacts from each of ecoation’s services, confirms ecoation’s ability to deliver value through the AI-driven IPM service. The publication of these commercial trial results follow several recent product upgrades and announcements, including new hardware that facilitates easy installation to existing greenhouse carts and flexible equipment financing for growers in both Canada and the United States.

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