Taking IPM registration to the next level with LetsGrow.com

The Union of Ostrobothnian Swedish speaking Growers in Finland (ÖSP) contributes to research in greenhouses to support growers. One of the projects owned by ÖSP focuses on whitefly management. To map the amount and distribution of the whitefly the researchers use different parameters, including light, air and leaf temperature. All this data is collected through the IPM module in MyLetsGrow. This provides clear dashboards and heatmaps, enabling the ÖSP’s researchers to better advise the growers on the amount of crop protection needed in the greenhouse.

 

 

ÖSP’s story and choice for LetsGrow.com

ÖSP is a growers’ union that lobbies for interests of primary producers, including support to research activities. One of the projects focuses on developing integrated pest management (IPM) of whiteflies in year-round tomato. Tomatoes are a common crop in the Ostrobothnian greenhouse cluster of about 125 greenhouse companies. Environmentally-friendly IPM methods are used to prevent problems and reduce or even avoid intensive control activities.
We talked to Sandra and Irene, two researchers working for the ÖSP’s whitefly project. Irene is also working part-time for Luke, which is the Natural Resources Institute in Finland in the project. The researchers try to map the spread and development of the whitefly using different parameters such as temperature, humidity, and the number of whiteflies as determined by yellow sticky traps and leaf samples. According to Irene the leaf temperature is “very relevant for the research because it influences the development of the larvae. We must understand the correlation between leaf and air temperature to be able to map the development time of the whitefly”.
In short, there is a lot of data to be analyzed, but the growers also need real-time information on what to do with the pest. Because of this, the project’s researchers started looking for organizations that offer the possibility to store all the data to be able to analyze it at a glance. After some market research, they came up with LetsGrow.com. The IPM module in particular seemed to fit their strategy very well because it offers the possibility to digitize registration results.

 

 

Better advice thanks to the LetsGrow.com platform

Thanks to the LetsGrow.com data platform, ÖSP’s researchers have all of the data from the greenhouses in one place, clearly and concisely. This data can also be analyzed more easily thanks to the Dashboards. ”Thanks to LetsGrow.com we can be better researchers. For example, we advise growers to use a natural enemy to fight or prevent a pest attack. With the data and heatmaps from LetsGrow.com we can also visually demonstrate why we are giving certain advice to the growers and we can show them the consequences of a certain action. The data and visualizations from LetsGrow.com thus strengthen our research as well as the advice to the grower”, says Sandra.

 

MyLetsGrow provides clear dashboards and heatmaps, enabling the ÖSP’s researchers to better advise the growers on the amount of crop protection needed in the greenhouse.

 

A tool from LetsGrow.com that has been really helpful for the ÖSP’s researchers and has been an important reason for them starting to use the LetsGrow.com platform in the first place, are the heatmaps. “For research purposes, we use the heatmaps to study how many yellow sticky traps are optimal to use for monitoring whiteflies. The heatmaps have been really helpful in demonstrating the optimal number of traps to growers and advisors”, Irene explains.

 

Smooth implementation process

In April 2021 the LetsGrow.com data platform was integrated in the two greenhouses in which ÖSP is conducting research. The implementation of the data platform went well and smoothly. “The use of the platform and the interpretation of the data all went pretty smoothly. During the implementation of the data platform in the first greenhouse, Kim (Helderman, Sales Manager at LetsGrow.com) showed us how to use the platform. In addition, she answered all our questions. Everything went very smoothly and with great communication”, Sandra shares.

 

a yellow sticky trap and a temperature and humidity logger that is used for collecting data that were fed to the LetsGrow IPM module to produced heat maps

LetsGrow.com takes the next step towards autonomous growing. More insight with LetsGrow Livestream

LetsGrow.com has integrated the Google Glass into their smart dashboard and hereby presents the most innovative visual data support to date; the LetsGrow Livestream. With the use of the Google Glass, it is now possible to enter a greenhouse without setting foot over the threshold. With the LetsGrow Livestream one is digitally ‘in control’ and able to get an even better picture of the crop from a distance.

Digital innovation

In 2020, LetsGrow.com introduced Digital Crop Management. High-quality photos and videos from the greenhouse stream to a central dashboard on the MyLetsGrow platform. The addition of these images are now indispensable in many growing strategies of growers and crop consultants worldwide. The LetsGrow Livestream is a logical next step. Especially at a time when it is increasingly difficult to be physically present at every location at all times. Using sharp images and voice options it is possible to view the crop in more detail. As a user in the greenhouse, you have your hands free to properly visualize the desired parts of the crop. In addition, the viewer can indicate, using speech options, what he would like to take a closer look at. This interaction ensures that the right insights are gained and the desired results are achieved.

The advantages of the LetsGrow Livestream are huge. You get to see a detailed picture with which the right information is available, communication is easy by voice, there is a larger span of control and it saves time.

The next step towards autonomous cultivation

With LetsGrow Livestream, LetsGrow.com takes the next step towards autonomous growing and raises remote monitoring and guidance to an even higher level.

Ton van Dijk, Global Head of Sales and Operations at LetsGrow.com explains: “LetsGrow.com is there to optimize business processes and results for all stakeholders such as investors, growers and advisors. Nowadays, visiting a greenhouse is not always possible and also entering a greenhouse is not without risk. Viruses lie in wait. In addition, greenhouses are located all over the world and there is a lot of travel back and forth between the various locations. The Google Glass offers a solution in these situations and makes it possible to get in touch with each other more often and more easily. In addition, one can see the live images, together with the climate and crop data and any photos, side by side on a dashboard in the MyLetsGrow platform. Correlations between what is seen and what the data indicates can therefore be quickly and easily detected. This enables a grower or crop consultant to respond even better to what is happening. It is like looking over each other’s shoulders. The LetsGrow Livestream is one in a series of innovations that LetsGrow.com will be rolling out shortly”.

Order now! 
The LetsGrow LiveStream with the Google Glass is available from today. Are you making the next step in Data Driven Growing, are you looking for a more efficient way of communicating with real-time visual data? Then get in touch with your regular contact person at LetsGrow.com or fill in the contact form.

Student Eric applied math in a greenhouse

Math and gerberas. Strict formulas and colourful flowers. This combination may not seem obvious when you think you know everything about intersections, parabola, logarithms, sine and cosine. That doesn’t stop Applied Mathematics student Eric van der Sluis from doing great work for LetsGrow.com. He developed a model for the company to detect and track gerberas. Thanks to his work, every gerbera grower can closely follow how fast each plant grows and when it will be ready to harvest.

So you are a math whizz. But what can you do with it later? For Eric that was quite clear four years ago. He wanted to use his math skills to help a company perform better. Now that he has almost graduated, he still has this goal. “During my internship I worked with gerberas. But the possibilities for Applied Mathematics are much broader. I can develop software for a company. Or work on data analysis.”

Detection and tracking
“I developed a new detection and tracking model for gerbera growers who are a customer at LetsGrow.com. Take the example of that one grower. He wants to know how his plants are doing, when he can harvest them and when they will be ready for auction. One option would be to inspect the greenhouses every day but it would be much easier to place a camera in the gerbera greenhouse. Every day it takes a new picture of the gerberas. I have given every flower its own identity. This allows the grower to track each plant until it’s ready to harvest. Based on the images that are stored in the cloud, he will know exactly how many flowers he will be able to harvest, how many new flowers will grow in a day or a week and if some batches are growing better than others. He can see it all in once glance on his computer. This is much more efficient than inspecting the greenhouses every day.”

30 great colleagues overnight
His internship at LetsGrow.com was Eric’s first introduction to the private sector. “It greatly expanded my world. I suddenly gained 30 fun, young colleagues. After a while I had gotten to know everyone. It was a new experience for me to work every day from 8 am to 4.30 pm and to meet the expectations of your colleagues.”

Source: The Hague University of Applied Sciences

New MyLetsGrow dashboards now available 

At LetsGrow.com we like to keep innovating and to make MyLetsGrow more user-friendly. That is why we have renewed the functionalities and visualization of our dashboards.

LetsGrow.com converts data into information, by supporting growers in understanding their data, growers can make decisions and optimize their growing process. We create custom courses specifically designed based on the wishes and needs of our customer.

We innovate and change together; our customers are central to this. The user experiences and the wishes of the customers are our driving force. In order to support our customers as fully as possible, it is extra important that the data is displayed and made available as clearly as possible. In this way, growers can quickly and easily work independently with their data.

Open Call for Innovation Experiments

This is an open call to robotics companies and initiatives as well as European (vegetable)growers in our network. More specifically, this message is intended for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from the agrifood sector who are willing to work together on the (continuous) development of Robotic applications suitable for practical applications throughout Europe. agROBOfood, a Horizon 2020 project, aims to build a European ecosystem for the effective adoption of robotic technologies in the agrifood sector and to support SMEs in their efforts to become more efficient and competitive. They are offering 2.65 million euros to SME’s through its first Open Call for Innovation Experiments.

Although 2.65 million euros is a great amount, agROBOfood’s efforts go beyond monetary support. They have set up 49 Digital Innovation Hubs and 12 Competence Centres, established in seven Regional Clusters around Europe, which will support companies in their digitization efforts by connecting various stakeholders.

Practical application examples

To shed light on the kind of practical applications eligible for participation, the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) have shared some examples: “To protect people from working in sub-zero temperatures, in the agROBOfood project a demonstrator robot will be built: a mixed palletiser to work in a freezer room. Another example will be to harvest fruit automatically, on time and with less manpower. This results in lower production and resource costs, whilst solving the labour shortage problem. Furthermore, a demonstrator for cucumbers will be built which can judge the maturity and pick & handle fruits in a greenhouse. Also, we will show a drone monitoring vineyards. Many more examples will be shown, both by the consortium and by companies who can apply for funding in the open calls. The Digital Innovation Hubs and connected experts will support these innovation experiments.”[source; 2019; WUR]

LetsGrow.com agROBOfood partner and expert

LetsGrow.com is an agROBOfood partner and part of the North West Europe Regional Cluster. Its platform, MyLetsGrow, serves as an excellent tool for data processing and extraction from robotic applications. It is an open platform combined with high data security standards which allows both the Robotics partner as well as the joint customer to both safely and optimally utilise their data. Furthermore, because of the technological, plant physiological and knowledge of the sector it possesses, LetsGrow.com can serve as a linking pin in the process. Even though LetsGrow.com is not eligible for participation, it can still mediate and support with applications.

When are you eligible for applying?

The basic criteria for participation in the Open Calls are to:

  • tackle a commercial need within agrifood;
  • base the solution around robot technologies;
  • use a local partner Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) as the primary contact point;
  • agree to use network’s cross-border services.

Small consortia (2-5 partners) from agrifood and robotics sector, including at least one SME as end-user and at least one SME as technology provider, can apply. Applicants must be based in Member States or H2020 associated countries.

Apply now!

The Open Call for Innovation Experiments (IEs) will be open until the 1st of September at https://evaluation.agrobofood.eu/apply.

Would you like our help with your application process?

Do you have any questions about this project or the application process? All necessary information is available (Call Fiche, Guide for applicants and other information) on agROBOfood website! Alternatively, you can contact us. We are happy support you with your application.