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"Data driven growing is getting foothold"

With the introduction of the software platform PYLOT, the mindset for Data Driven Growing is transforming in the international greenhouse horticulture. This is the conviction of the independent software platform after the first two years after its launch. The data platform is operational worldwide in 250 greenhouses with 700 hectares of cultivation area, spread over twelve countries. "Interest in the Netherlands is growing, but the step to a data platform is not yet so common for Dutch growers compared to other countries."

In daily practice, a lot of data from plants, labor, energy, or harvest is already registered by horticultural companies. Surprisingly often error-prone Excel overviews are used or growers lack the insight or competence to combine this data from different sources to enable good analyses. Two years ago, KUBO jumped into this market gap. "With its functionalities, PYLOT creates more awareness among growers and managers about the importance of data," says business manager Marc Rooijakkers of PYLOT. “In the platform, the grower sees the transformation from combined data into valuable business information that creates added value. It is a pity to experience that the horticultural industry can still be quite conservative when it comes to data. However, we do notice that the level of acceptance is increasing. PYLOT lowers the threshold and makes working with data easy, accessible, and supports more data-driven cultivation. We see it as a stepping stone towards autonomous growing, because, if you want to develop into the direction of autonomous growing, you require quantitative and qualitative data."

Big functionalities
Last year, PYLOT regularly made the news with the introduction of new functionalities, including those for incident management, benchmarking, and the monitoring of your resource consumption like gas, water, and light. This year, the team behind PYLOT has not been idle, says Marc. “With Unrealized Potential, we have added another intelligent functionality to the platform that helps growers optimize cultivation strategies. In addition, we have updated several functionalities, based on the valuable feedback from our customers. Next to a great overall performance, we further increased the user-friendliness of some functionalities. The plant measurements section has improved with visualization of data and we support plant strategy calculations such as flowering and ripening speed. Also, our graphs offer more detail through additional scales and the line colors can be customized to personal preference.' Within the R&D team, specialists are active in areas such as data science and artificial intelligence for more new functions in the near future.

Three stars in Hillenraad Tech50
Appreciation and recognition are growing in the Netherlands. In Hillenraad's Tech50, PYLOT was awarded three stars in the 'Data Science' category as one of the 5 most high profiled and promising companies in the Netherlands. Still, Rooijakkers says: "Growers abroad are much more enthusiastic - interest could be bigger in the Netherlands. Here, growers act in the Premier League, and they feel that they are already doing very well. Especially abroad, growers are more open to gathering data with the use of a platform like PYLOT. They welcome the possibility of easy data aggregation and creating more efficiency to support their analyses and saying goodbye to error-prone Excel files."

New developments in 2022
New developments are on their way in 2022. “We are researching the comprehensive process for making a short-term harvest forecast, which will be essential for growers and their sales organizations. During our research, we gained information about the daily challenges and friction between sales and operations; we now know there are growers who are able to provide a short-term harvest forecast with an accuracy of 90%, but it also happens that the deviations are too big. In addition, promising and intensive collaborations have been started with interesting partners in the recent period: collaborations that will take the platform to the next level in 2022."

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