Ecoation revealed the world-first computer vision-based pepper forecasting platform after two years of stealth development and tests in multiple greenhouses across the world and will be showcasing this new technology at Greentech Amsterdam – from June 14 to 16.
As most growers know, forecasting pepper yield is complex due to pepper flushes and significant variability in production. Growers need to know the production status not only to meet the demand of the market and secure the best-negotiated price but also to have the ability to organize their labor efficiently. This is a challenge faced by growers worldwide.
"The ecoation team is attracted to hard problems," says Dr. Saber Miresmailli, Co-Founder and CEO of ecoation. "The greater the challenge, the more interested we become in solving it. The team took on the pepper forecasting challenge about two years ago and conducted under-the-radar development and secret trials with several customers globally."
Forecasting short-term pepper production
Using ecoation's computing AI vision system and patented 3D Spatio-temporal micro-climate per sqm, the team at ecoation devised a novel technique for forecasting short-term pepper production that has proven through extensive trials to be more accurate than that of growers. Going head to head with the growers and testing ecoation's forecast versus the growers' forecasts, the ecoation team managed to be more accurate more than 80 percent of the time. Ecoation customers believe that the company's new development and novel algorithm can help provide a more accurate forecast 100 percent of the time as it becomes more fine-tuned. In fact, one grower in Ontario was so impressed by the accuracy that he provided a testimonial that is now on the ecoation website.
According to Dr. Miresmailli, many factors contribute to the variability in production, which then creates a yield gap by limiting or reducing the maximum potential production of a plant. Growers have the ability and knowledge to produce amazing and high-quality crops in some parts of their greenhouse. However, variability in climate conditions, plant growth, pest or disease outbreaks, changes in light levels, etc., can affect the consistency of producing the perfect crop in every single square meter of the greenhouse. The best growers want to achieve optimum production every day of the week and every week of the year.
Ecoation measurements and analytical services help growers to minimize their yield gap. Through our forecasting platform, we serve actionable intelligence extracted from a mountain of data that we gather in the crop, says Dr. Miresmailli. We use data to help growers scale their success across all of their production. The ecoation forecasting platform is used to forecast future IPM outbreaks before they happen, flagging micro-climate anomalies and crop work issues.
Now, with the added value of pepper forecast in addition to our existing tomato forecast, we provide a comprehensive suite of services to our clients. The tomato brown virus outbreak, energy crisis, and labor shortage forced many tomato greenhouses to think about switching their crop to peppers, strawberries, or cucumbers. "Having a technology that helps you make your decisions more confidently is extremely valuable to someone who just decided to take a risk and try something new," says Dr. Miresmailli.
"Even a grower who has been growing the same crop for years but is now facing new challenges in today's world can benefit from it. He continues: "Ecoation is a forecasting platform through and through. We gather a massive amount of data on IPM, micro-climate, yield, and overall crop health; then, we analyze it, extract trends and project and predict future developments and offer this insight to the growers. However, our work doesn't end there. We also personally call and discuss with growers what can be done about these future developments. And now, with our pepper forecast, we can help growers plan more confidently," he added.
Ecoation's Vice President of Agronomy and Customer Success Gavin Schneider adds: "Getting the right information at the right time is critical for growers to get the best price for their product. We assessed traditional methods of pepper forecasting and quickly realized the challenges around a limited sample size. The increasing size of pepper greenhouses means more variability across a large production area. Only a machine is capable of making repeatable and effortless counts required to forecast. By leaning into advanced technology, a grower can massively increase their sample size to get the best forecast possible."
Pepper forecasting capability is now available worldwide, and customers who are subscribed to ecoation's Advance service package can use it. If you are interested in learning more about Ecoation's newest technology in pepper forecasting and are attending the upcoming Greentech Amsterdam trade show from June 14 to 16 in Amsterdam, then you are invited to come to meet the team behind the technology in person in Stand 02.508 during the show.