Horticultural technology provider WayBeyond has introduced a new solution to provide growers with an advantage for maintaining optimal plant growth without any guesswork – moving from a subjective to an objective approach to optimize their production.
The Plant Balance Indicator is the latest FarmRoad Agronomy Insights feature – a smart digital tool that displays the state of the plant – starting with tomato crops. With this information, growers can influence plant growth depending on how they wish to progress.
“Plants can be in a state of vegetative to generative based on their interaction with the environment. Vegetative – when more energy is used to produce the structural parts of the plant like leaves, stems, and root systems – or generative – when more energy is utilized for creating more fruits and flowers,” explains Dr Tharindu Weeraratne, WayBeyond Director of Crop Science & Agronomy.
“When growers are able to understand the current state of their plants, they are empowered to make decisions based on that data to positively impact harvest and ultimately their profit margin.”
“One example is if plant growth requires slowing down due to low market pricing. Average daily temperature, humidity, or EC in the root zone can be manipulated to slow the plant’s development long enough for prices to recover. Conversely, should fruiting or ripening need accelerating to meet contractual agreements, labor availability, or to take advantage of better market pricing, those parameters, and others can be adjusted to achieve that. Both courses of action require growers to have a clear grasp of the current state of the plant to avoid over-stressing it.”
Leveraging proprietary statistical models, the Plant Balance Indicator gives a real-time graphical view based on crop registration data, environmental sensor data, and plant biology information. Additionally, a plant balance chart displays historic plant balance status over time. WayBeyond Chief Technology Officer Sean Tindale notes that creating successful agricultural products isn’t just about the technology.
“Successful horticultural technology is built from a comprehensive knowledge base for data modelling, alongside additional information provided by the growers. What we do that’s special is make this knowledge and data relatable to growers as agronomy insights and tools that enable the right actions to be taken at the right time to improve crop outcomes. We are incredibly fortunate to have six years of data collected from tomato producers and experienced partner growers around the world, that give validity to our solutions,” he says.
“As we continue to explore the use of artificial intelligence and build even more sophisticated models, tools like the Plant Balance Indicator will be just one of many options growers will have to optimize their production.”
Growers will have the opportunity to learn more at Fruit Logistica in Berlin 8-10 February with the WayBeyond team exhibiting (Hall 3.1, Stand C-48) and presenting on the Tech Stage (Friday 10/02/2023 at 12:35 pm, Hall 2.1, B-43).
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