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Plant Empowerment: a plant production strategy where Physiology meets Physics

What is the most sustainable way of growing in my greenhouse, where I convert the available resources to maximum production and quality? During the Greentech a new book will be presented, called Plant Empowerment; the basic principles. In this book extensive methods are explained to give your plants the right energy! Empower your Plants!

 

Why Plant Empowerment
Typically, traditional plant production methods are based on a mix of blueprints, best practices, common knowledge of plant physiology, as well as the ‘green fingers’ and ‘emotional perception’ of the growers. This approach has been successful, but also has several limitations:
• Blueprints are valid only under specific (outdoor) climate conditions
• The human sensory perception provides false information about the plant status
• Sensor-based climate control is not directly related to plant growth or plant status
• Most of the physiological knowledge is based on mono-factorial plant research

 

What is Plant Empowerment? 
Afbeelding met beamerGrowing by Plant Empowerment (GPE) brings the different pieces of experience and knowledge together in an integrated approach. Its starting point is the natural behaviour of plants related to the greenhouse environment described by six balances concerning energy, water, CO2 and assimilates. Monitoring these balances utilizing sensors, combined with crop measurements in a coherent framework based on physical and plant physiological knowledge and insights, provides hard facts required to control and improve the cultivation process.

The book on the Greentech
The theory behind Growing by Plant Empowerment is written down in a new book, that will be available in September 2018. The writers will be present during the Greentech on Booth 09.300. Also they will give a talk on Thursday 13:30-14:00 Climate, water, energy theatre.


More info
If you like to have more information about Plant Empowerment, please contact us through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Enabling plants to direct themselves to optimal light utilization

A unique collaboration between LetsGrow.com, PhenoVation, B-Mex and Hoogendoorn Growth Management makes it possible to real-time determine the extent to which plants use the light they receive for photosynthesis, and control your greenhouse screens based on this data. As a result of this innovative collaboration a Dutch pot plant nursery increased its crop yield with 5%.

 screen open closeHow does it work?
The CropObserver system from PhenoVation measures the photosynthesis efficiency in a cultivation area of 9 m2. Based on this measurement the CropObserver can determine the extent to which the crop uses the light it receives for the purpose of photosynthesis. Simultaneously the LetsGrow.com evaporation/stomata sensor monitors whether the stomata open or close. This provides information about the status of both the energy and water balance and tells you if your crop “feels good” or is “stressed”.

B-Mex, PhenoVation and LetsGrow.com together developed a model to combine the data of the sensor. The model uses this data to calculate the right light intensity for optimal plant growth in the current situation. Subsequently this information is sent to the Hoogendoorn Growth Management climate computer, which can open or close the climate screens in the greenhouse based on this information. The LetsGrow.com platform provides insight into all the data, providing the grower with an overview of what is happening in the greenhouse and for what reason.
Result
"For the first time, I have insight into how my plants actually feel", according to the Dutch pot plant grower, who achieved a 5% increase in crop yield by opening and closing the climate screens at the right times.

The cooperation partners are very proud of the achieved result. Peter Hendriks from LetsGrow.com describes it as "a nice practical example of Data Driven Growing”. According to him “this also illustrates the partners' vision on innovation: when several innovative parties effectively work together, we can quickly realize extra added value for cultivation companies. In our view, this is the direction we, the horticulture sector, are heading for."

Enabling plants to direct themselves to optimal light utilization

A unique collaboration between LetsGrow.com, PhenoVation, B-Mex and Hoogendoorn Growth Management makes it possible to real-time determine the extent to which plants use the light they receive for photosynthesis, and control your greenhouse screens based on this data. As a result of this innovative collaboration a Dutch pot plant nursery increased its crop yield with 5%.
 

screen open close

How does it work?
The CropObserver system from PhenoVation measures the photosynthesis efficiency in a cultivation area of 9 m2. Based on this measurement the CropObserver can determine the extent to which the crop uses the light it receives for the purpose of photosynthesis. Simultaneously the LetsGrow.com evaporation/stomata sensor monitors whether the stomata open or close. This provides information about the status of both the energy and water balance and tells you if your crop “feels good” or is “stressed”.

B-Mex, PhenoVation and LetsGrow.com together developed a model to combine the data of the sensor. The model uses this data to calculate the right light intensity for optimal plant growth in the current situation. Subsequently this information is sent to the Hoogendoorn Growth Management climate computer, which can open or close the climate screens in the greenhouse based on this information. The LetsGrow.com platform provides insight into all the data, providing the grower with an overview of what is happening in the greenhouse and for what reason.


Result
"For the first time, I have insight into how my plants actually feel", according to the Dutch pot plant grower, who achieved a 5% increase in crop yield by opening and closing the climate screens at the right times.

The cooperation partners are very proud of the achieved result. Peter Hendriks from LetsGrow.com describes it as "a nice practical example of Data Driven Growing”. According to him “this also illustrates the partners' vision on innovation: when several innovative parties effectively work together, we can quickly realize extra added value for cultivation companies. In our view, this is the direction we, the horticulture sector, are heading for."

 

For more information: 

PhenoVation
Tel: +31(0)6-51978796
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.phenovation.com

PhenoVation logo 200x75 

LetsGrow.com
Tel: +31 (0)10 460 81 08
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
www.letsgrow.com 

 LetsGrow Logo

 B-Mex
Tel: +31(0)6-30544709
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.b-mex.nl 

 B mex jpeg
Hoogendoorn Growth Management
Tel: +31 (0)10 460 80 80
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.hoogendoorn.nl/en/  
 HGM2

With Artificial Intelligence more than 90% accurate yield prognosis!

It is possible to make more money when you make a good forecast of your yield, that has been known for years by growers and traders. However growers, growers associations and traders are struggling with this for years: the inaccuracy of the prognoses makes it not clear enough how much product is expected in the coming period. These prognosis regularly differ dozens of percent from reality. LetsGrow.com has developed, through the use of Machine Learning, for tomato a harvest forecast with an average more than 90% accurate!
 
The past as input
Many growers make crop prognoses for the sale of their products. With this information the sales process can be optimized. No shortage or surplus of product, ensures a better return on sales. It is also possible to optimize internal processes , such as work scheduling, at the nursery with this information.

Peter Hendriks, Business Unit Manager at LetsGrow.com: "I am regularly approached by growers with the question whether we can build an accurate and universal crop prognosis system. We have for some years now a plant physiological crop prognosis model for tomato which is doing reasonably well. However, it takes time to do the counting for the harvest forecast accurately, so that the model remains accurate. In addition, this way is error-prone, since the model only looks at the present. We also should use data from the past."

Artificial Intelligence vs. plant physiology
For over 17 years, LetsGrow.com has been collecting data from and for their customers. How nice would it be if these data can be separately used by each grower by making it an efficient yield forecasting model? Hendriks: "The technology is developing rapidly. In recent months, we specialized ourselves in Machine Learning. This form of Artificial Intelligence is really an incredibly powerful tool! By combining our plant physiological background with this technique, we can switch quickly to provide very accurate analyzes, such as this prognosis , for our customers."

Easy
Is it a lot of work for a grower to do this forecast? Hendriks: "We train the system for the grower. The system is trained per grower with its own data. The system recognizes patterns from the past and in combination with crop registrations that are already being done, the harvest forecast for the coming 4 weeks is predicted. If the historical data of a grower is already in our system, we can immediately start working on it. If not, then we have to find a way how we can retrieve the correct data. In fact, it costs the grower very little work. And it delivers a lot!"

Future
Has the end been achieved considering accuracy with this forecast? Hendriks: "No, certainly not! The name Machine Learning says it all: the system continues to learn itself. It is getting better and better over time. In addition, we are also further refining the underneath model.
 
We are also working on integrating new data sources to be able to use them in the model, such as the measurements made by HortiKey. They measure, among other things, automatically the inventory of the tomatoes that are still in the greenhouse. If we combine this with our technique, we will reduce the manual input even more and can we further increase this forecast to 99.9%!”

Are you interested in this new and accurate crop forecast? Contact us or visit us at the Horticontact at stand 401. The analysis is now available for tomato growers. Other crops follow quickly.
 
For more information:
 
Peter Hendriks
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+31 - 657583579
 

Or

Ton van Dijk
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+31 - 653735670

 

 

"With data analysis we can make the next step"

The production has been good for years, both in quality and in quantity. Nonetheless, you want to keep improving your company and yourself as a grower. What can help you to make the next step? By means of a very extensive data analysis, actions and achievements over the past years are analyzed in order to come to useful insights that will help you as a grower to improve both your production as well as the product quality. Letsgrow.com makes data analysis over several years now available for all growers.

Hans Vereijken2In the past period, there has been a rapid development of data analyses in the greenhouse sector. With the help of smart and advanced Big Data and Artificial Intelligence techniques, it is now possible to make analysis that simply cannot be made by human brains. With these techniques, the greenhouse sector will experience a further development by which the production shall improve both qualitative and quantitative.

When these modern techniques are combined with plant physiology knowledge and models, it gives great possibilities to optimize the growth even further. LetsGrow has both competences and has carried out a data analysis for Vereijken Kwekerijen.

Director Hans Vereijken "We believe in growing with the help of data. For years, we use LetsGrow to visualize and analyze the data of our locations at a central place. We want to have a discussion about what we want to achieve and how to realize our goals, instead of discussing afterwards our results. Recently, LetsGrow.com has completed a new functionality, with which we can even better apply our Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology. We are now implementing this new functionality. However, we actually wanted more. How do we grow exactly? What does science say about it? And what can we do to have even better results?”

Therefore, LetsGrow.com has carried out a Light Use Efficiency (LUE) data analysis over the past four years for five locations. The LUE shows the efficiency of the conversion of radiation to production. The analysis showed that these LUE fluctuates too much during a year. This data analysis gives enough input to pay more attention to these fluctuations.

Peter Hendriks, Business Unit Manager LetsGrow.com: "For years, Vereijken is a customer of us. We stored all their data over the past years, just as we do for all our customers. Now we offer our customers the possibility to make money out of their data. With the LBE analysis we can point directly to moments when they do it well and when they can improve, but also how they can improve. Then it is up to the advisor and grower to implement these new insights. We also offer the possibility to keep doing the analysis periodically, to analyze whether the improvements are carried out and what the results of these improvements are. With the Climate Monitor, we have already a tool whereby you can see on a daily basis (even on a 5-minute basis) if your climate is in control. With this Climate Monitor you can achieve large improvements!”

Hans Vereijken: “With all our growers we follow a course Data Driving Growing. With this course we aim to understand the results of the data analysis better, to connect the theory and research to practice so we can apply it better. With an increasing number of measuring equipment’s, it becomes more complicated to combine all the data to useful information. Therefore, extra tools are needed, but we still need to know how to handle these data. In the end, with this we optimize our way of growing. With the data analysis we can make the next step.”

Are you also interested where you can optimize and are you interested in data analysis for your company with your data, please contact Peter Hendriks or Ton van Dijk of LetsGrow.com.

Ton van Dijk

Tel: +31 (0)10 460 81 08
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

LetsGrow.com

Westlandseweg 190
3131 HX Vlaardingen

PO Box 108
NL 3130 AC
Vlaardingen
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)10 460 81 08
F: +31 (0)10 460 80 00

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