Making relatively inexpensive investments in order to rationalize natural and energy resources and grow in line with food safety principles, as well as automating facilities to make the technological and digital transition of production processes sustainable while also reducing labor requirements and maximizing economic advantages - that is the story of "Le Tre Virtù," a company that produces berries in south-eastern Sicily.
Gabrile Cardini (Le Tre Virtù) and Luca Occhipinti (Lualtek).
The company invested in automation not only when it comes to the facility, e.g., for the opening and closing of greenhouses, but it went beyond, using sensors to 'refine' the production with scientific methods.
In the photo: mini weather station + anemometer + anemoscope. Everything is wireless and without the need for an internet connection.
The technology to rationalize and maximize production processes is supplied by Lualtek, owned by the brothers Luca and Alessio Occhipinti.
"The company can monitor its greenhouse remotely and program the necessary interventions such as the partial or total opening of the sides or roof. In addition, substrate sensors enable the monitoring of water availability and the water retention curve, helping producers improve their production results. Everything can be planned, but it is possible to intervene at every single change of the weather or plant conditions, even a sudden one."
Above and below: Lualtek, actuators that enable to activate everything (irrigation, frost protection, fog, etc.) remotely (based on sensor values). In this case, they open or close the side doors or roofs while the external anemometer and anemoscope measure the intensity and direction of the wind.
"It is the agricultural entrepreneur or the agronomist that sets the automations from our app based on the values supplied by our external weather station, which also features an anemometer and an anemoscope as well as sensors inside the greenhouse. The values collected and processed enable our algorithms to process the actions to be taken, i.e., close part of or the entire greenhouse as the wind increases or if the temperature drops. The system will intervene to bring cultivation conditions (temperature, humidity, water retention in plants, and whatever value can be monitored by the grower with the tool already present at the company) to the desired condition. Of course, growers can also intervene remotely based on their own experience, anticipating further scenarios or assessing the possible consequences."
Above: thermo-hygrometer that measures the temperature, humidity, dew point, and VPD (vapor pressure deficit).
"Thanks to the Lualtek technology, we manage to monitor our crops closely. We can thus actually optimize production, reducing costs and the consumption of energy, water, and labor to obtain higher volumes of high-quality production," reported Gabriele Cardini from "Le Tre Virtù."
Above: tensiometer that measures the suction strength of roots, i.e., water tension, with a value expressed in hectopascals. It does so through the porous tip of the roots and helps calculate how much water available to the roots is present in the substrate.
The added value of the Lualtek system is that it does not require being connected to the electricity system, nor does it need an internet connection because the technology uses radio frequencies (LoRaWAN).
For more information:
Tel.: +39 3760494945