About 3 years ago, a collaboration was established between Vineland Research & Innovation Center and LetsGrow.com. The reason for this collaboration is the growing demand for the automation of watering from potted plant growers worldwide, with the aim of reducing water consumption. According to the World Bank, horticulture and agriculture are responsible for an average of 70% fresh water consumption worldwide. It is time for a change.

Vineland and LetsGrow.com are jointly developing a watering algorithm that will integrate into the LetsGrow.com data platform “MyLetsGrow”. The grower receives a notification from this Decision Support System (DDS) via MyLetsGrow when the plants need water.

Advantages of DSS
In addition to reducing water consumption, the DSS also offers growers other benefits, namely:

  • quality improvements;
  • labor savings;
  • product failure reductions;
  • increased ROI.

The traditional approach to irrigation is unreliable and inconsistent, partly due to staff changes. This leads to a stressed crop, resulting in quality reduction, increased labor intensity, production failures and reduced or stagnant yields.

“With the DSS, Vineland and LetsGrow.com have developed a practical solution to water more effectively. This makes it very easy for every potted plant grower to grow data driven and to create labor savings resulting in increased yields”, says Ton van Dijk, Global Head of Sales and Operations at LetsGrow.com.

Vineland’s DSS is integrated into MyLetsGrow and makes it possible, through Machine Learning (AI), data collection and plant physiological models, to offer irrigation advice to the grower. The DSS has shown to reduce water usage by 15%, reduce irrigation labor by 47% and increase efficiency by 5%.

The DSS will be available in the course of 2021.

Canadian Greenhouse Conference
During the Canadian Greenhouse Conference 2020 (October 8, 01:00 PM EST), Hussam Haroun (Director of Automation at Vineland) and Ton will talk about the latest developments in the field of DSS. They will explain what the DSS is, how it works and what its benefits are.

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