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Dynamic fresh weight prediction of substrate-cultivated lettuce

The fresh weight of vegetables is an important index for the accurate evaluation of growth processes, which are affected by factors such as temperature and radiation fluctuation, especially in a passive solar greenhouse. Predicting dynamic growth indexed by fresh weight in a solar greenhouse remains a challenge. A novel method for predicting the dynamic growth of leafy vegetables based on the in situ sensing of phenotypic and environmental data of batches is proposed herein, enabling the prediction of the dynamic fresh weight of substrate-cultivated lettuce grown in a solar greenhouse under normal water and fertilizer conditions.

Firstly, multibatch lettuce cultivation experiments were carried out, and batch datasets were constructed by collecting growth environmental data and lettuce canopy images in real time. Secondly, the cumulative environmental factors and instantaneous fresh weights of the lettuce batches were calculated. The optimum response time in days was then explored through the most significant correlations between cumulative environmental factors and fresh weight growth. Finally, a dynamic fresh weight prediction model was established using a naive Bayesian network based on cumulative environmental factors, instantaneous fresh weight, and the fresh weight increments of batches. The results showed that the computing time setpoint of cumulative environmental factors and instantaneous fresh weight of lettuce was 8:00 AM and the optimum response time was 12 days, and the average R2 values among samples from three batches reached 95.95%.

The mean relative error (MRE) of fresh weight prediction four days into the future based on data from the current batch was not more than 9.57%. Upon introducing another batch of data, the prediction of 7 days into the future dropped below 8.53% MRE; upon introducing another two batches, the prediction of 9 days into the future dropped below 9.68% MRE. The accuracy was improved by the introduction of additional data batches, proving the model’s feasibility. The proposed dynamic fresh weight growth prediction model can support the automatic management of substrate-cultivated leafy vegetables in a solar greenhouse.

Read the complete research at

Liu, Lin & Yuan, Jin & Gong, Liang & Wang, Xing & Liu, Xuemei. (2022). Dynamic Fresh Weight Prediction of Substrate-Cultivated Lettuce Grown in a Solar Greenhouse Based on Phenotypic and Environmental Data. Agriculture. 12. 1959. 10.3390/agriculture12111959. 

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