Grodan’s biennial plant growers’ day took place last week. Every time they manage to organize a special activity at this event. This time it was all about horsepower. Lots of horsepower. Racing took place with Land Rovers, quads and bugxter buggies. But before that happened, the group was taken to the digital world where Artificial Intelligence will play an increasingly important role.
“The current era is still about the descriptive phase. Ultimately, it takes us to the prescribing phase,” said Rick Bakker of Berenschot Consultancy in his presentation. Rick informed the group of growers about the existence of the Smart Horticulture Network. In this network, a group of companies in greenhouse horticulture work together to facilitate the transition of Dutch horticulture to a data-driven knowledge chain. Innovation benefits from collaboration. Knowledge is shared, with the aim of further integrating digitization in the greenhouse. This network incidentally is an initiative of Berenschot Consultancy.
Paulina Florax of Grodan took over from Rick. She works with e-Gro every day. Furthermore, she is not doing that alone. The team has been expanded to around 15 people within a year. e-Gro combines relevant data from different sources on one online software platform. The result: 24/7 a detailed picture of the situation in the greenhouse, so that there is more control and the cultivation can be controlled in a data-driven manner. The advice is given by e-Gro and is based on root zone, climate, crop and harvest data. By the way, e-Gro is compatible with smartphones, desktops and tablets.
Paulina: "Data-driven decision-making is well-founded decision-making. In other words: measuring is knowing. We are working with e-Gro together with about one hundred affiliated growers. These growers are already working with e-Gro and realize the importance of it. e-Gro analyzes the data and advises the growers on the basis of that analysis.” The climate data is supplied by Grosens, external sensors and external data sources. e-Gro gets to work with all that data.
Data is therefore the basic material for e-Gro. And that brings us to the workfield of Paul Bouwens from Grodan. He is the one who shares all the information of Grosens. This system measures WG, EC and the temperature in the block and/or the mat. It offers the ‘green men’ a means, via the sensors, to create more certainty in their cultivation. The measurements can be read remotely, so that checking and adjusting can be done always and everywhere. Paul's story was in-depth. It resulted in a Q&A session.
Kurt Lauwers (HollandPlant), Pieter van Dijk (Plantise), Alex van Os and Mehmet Sevim (HollandPlant)
Time to relax
Time to relax meant time for the horsepower with a barbecue to conclude. The images from the photo report give an impression of this afternoon. Grodan’s plant growers’ day is seen by the growers as one of the most important networking gatherings within the propagation sector.
Marcel Janssen (Gipmans) and Paul Jochems (Brabant Plant)