Priva TopCrop Monitor 'Control your crop, Grow your business'
After a successful pilot project at 12 growing companies, Priva has launched Priva TopCrop Monitor in July 2015 to the International market. TopCrop Monitor is a new control instrument that enables growers to fine-tune cultivation actions according to what is happening in the plant itself instead of in the crop environment.
Priva TopCrop Monitor visualises crop activity based on an analysis of plant evaporation. A plant temperature sensor, in the form of an infrared camera, measures the temperature of the crop and then plots it against the temperature in the greenhouse. This produces a reliable picture of crop activity
With Priva TopCrop Monitor it is possible to make connections between specific actions and an increase or decrease in crop activity. "Based on this insight, growers can link controls to the measurements, for instance increasing ventilation a little if the monitoring shows that the crop is becoming too inactive," explains Priva researcher Patrick Dankers. Priva TopCrop Monitor consists of three components: control software, an infrared camera and a Priva Measuring box, which is already in use at many greenhouse horticulture companies.
A pilot project at 12 growing companies in the Netherlands - in both ornamental crops, cut flowers and vegetable crops - has already shown that Priva TopCrop Monitor provides growers with an effective control instrument for achieving their growing objectives. "Priva TopCrop Monitor makes growers much more aware of what they are doing. Effective monitoring allows you to learn what effects specific cultivation actions have on crop activity. We now talk much less about gut feeling," says Ruben van der Lugt of Dynaplant, one of the participants in the pilot project. With help from Priva TopCrop Monitor, Dynaplant succeeded in improving the quality of the clivias they cultivate and in increasing the flowering rate from approximately 50% to approximately 85%. Patrick Dankers: "This result was a pleasant surprise - even to us. It shows that crop monitoring leads to new insights and can contribute to significant improvements."
First result of the TopCrop innovation programme
Priva TopCrop Monitor is the first - very promising - result of the TopCrop innovation programme that Priva initiated a few years ago. In this innovation programme, Priva is working on the development of plant-driven solutions. Focusing on the plant itself makes the process computer more user-friendly, giving growers more control over their crops and enabling them to optimise them further.
"This is innovative, because growers have become used to controlling the growth of the crop by analysing the plant's ambient climate and then basing their actions on this," says Dankers.