AGRICO master their data to maximize their cultivation and boost profitable sustainability
In 2020 AGRICO, located in Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico decided to provide their newest 12 hectares of high-tech cucumber greenhouses with the newest technologies and put the Plant Empowerment principles to practice. In this project, LetsGrow.com collaborated with their partner Invermex and provided a complete integrated solution regarding software and training in Data Driven Growing (DDG) and Plant Empowerment. This complete data-driven strategy resulted in an optimal empowered plant, a high-quality crop, and a maximum yield with the minimal use of natural resources.
With previous experience in open-field agriculture and under the name of Agricultura Controlada SA de CV (AGRICO), the company was born in 2005. Made up of a group of investors who thrived to do business in the protected agriculture industry in Mexico. At first mainly with shading systems and passive greenhouses.
Specializing in the production of cucumber, they took on the task of forming a project that would allow them to obtain the best results with optimization in the control and use of natural resources. This is how AGRICO in 2020, together with business partners Invermex and Hoogendoorn Latin America, started their business in 12 hectares of high-tech greenhouses located in the town of Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato. They decided to provide their greenhouses with the most innovative technology. They put the principles of Plant Empowerment into practice and started with Data Driven Growing training provided by the specialists of LetsGrow.com
From a low-tech greenhouse to a complete data-driven cultivation
Javier Lopez, general director of AGRICO explains how they started: “We come from producing in low tech greenhouses. Here we teach ourselves to do business in an environment in which we have almost no control. There are only a few things in which we can intervene and therefore you have to resign yourself to the little you can do to obtain certain results. In the end, the results you obtain are surrounded by a very great uncertainty”.
Due to the evolution of the market and the increasing demands in terms of quality, volume and safety, producing and guaranteeing first-class products became a more complex challenge. This is why AGRICO decided to invest in high technology, and wanted to learn the latest generation techniques such as Data Driven Growing by LetsGrow.com.
Starting by gaining the right knowledge
During the first year of operations, AGRICO’s staff received training in Plant Empowerment principles from the experts at LetsGrow.com. During this training, they learned how to apply Data Driven Growing and put this into practice. According to Javier Lopez: “Knowing what is going to happen with your crop and your production is essential in this business. This is why we started with LetsGrow.com. LetsGrow.com and their MyLetsGrow platform allow us to know what conditions you are providing to your plants according to their needs”.
With LetsGrow.com you get a quick overview of your strategy, if it is empowering your crop and whether the actions of the process computer are providing results. It also acts as a coach and gives advice on what a grower can do to improve the greenhouse environment and how to use natural recourses optimally. Therefore, you are producing to the maximum with fewer resources. This also results in not needing to apply fungicidal products because you can guarantee the health of your plants. In Javier’s words “The best fungicide is an empowered plant”. Which is good for your business and good for the planet.
LetsGrow.com as their main tool for a data-driven cultivation strategy
Alejandro Resendiz, Production Manager at the high-tech greenhouses of AGRICO, has now made LetsGrow.com his main tool. Not only because of the ease of viewing the data but because it allows him to view more details than through the traditional data on his computer. Alejandro explains: “As a grower, I tend to see mostly the climate panels. I rely a lot on the Radiation-Temperature Ratio (RTR) panel and on the behavior of the Vapor Pressure Difference (VPD) to properly manage the conditions for our plants. This is based on what Plant Empowerment recommends. However, the use of the plagues and diseases module, irrigation and physiology panels also provide excellent information that complements the strategy”.
Resendiz concludes: “Having full insight into the crop with LetsGrow.com, allows me to act in advance to avoid unwanted conditions in the plants. An example is the use of screens to avoid plant stress or the possibility of real-time monitoring if the plant is active and taking action to keep it that way. We believe that this is the way of growing for now and the future”.
Are you also curious about how a data-driven strategy can boost your cultivation process? Get in contact with us!