Using a sensor to measure the temperature of the leaf or check if you marked the dew point right. Growers can use 30MHz to improve their cultivation process on a detailed level. Cultivation specialist Nico Plasmeijer works at BB Plant in Bleiswijk, the Netherlands, and used the platform a lot last year. He tells about how he uses data in the production process.
Plasmeijer shows the colorful calla’s in his greenhouse.
At nursery BB Plant they are growing calla’s all year long. The plant is also known under its name zantedeschia. “Together with the owner Bram Breugem, I’m responsible for the cultivation,” tells Plasmeijer. “This is a small company so you need to know a lot. That makes the job more exciting. What appeals to me as a grower is that our product runs through in three months. That turnover rate is an advantage. If you have a good product, then the ‘garden’ looks good for three months. If somehow it’s not looking great, it only lasts a few months. But in general the garden looks good.”
Plasmeijer is an experienced grower. He sees that data is easier to use in his work. “We use an older climate computer. We have four departments in our company, with a measuring box per department. This way we register data like the temperature and the moisture deficiency. We use that data to control our greenhouse. This gives insights, but not about everything. We wanted to have more data, that’s how we ended up at 30MHz.”
The grower uses the platform for about a year. He thinks it’s useful to finetune the cultivation. “If the plant is either good or bad, you can use the data for your insights. We can’t do this with our climate computer. With this platform I can make nicer graphs. It takes a little practice, but it is rewarding. The layout is pretty and clear. If it’s very windy or really chilly outside I can check how the climate in the greenhouse is from my own home.”
‘We thought we tackled the dew point’
Plasmeijer says the dew point is a good example in which the platform of 30MHz helped him. The dew point is a huge factor in BB Plants greenhouse, because it is important in the prevention of fungi. “After we watered the plant, we use a strategy for airing and heating. You have to dry the garden a certain way to prevent the plants from getting too wet. In 30MHz’s platform we can see the exact dew point. We always thought we had ‘tackled’ the issue of the dew point, but the data showed us that we were too close to the dew point for too long.”
The measuring of the leaf temperature is another big advantage according to Plasmeijer. “First we just saw the temperature of the greenhouse, but now we can see exactly what the temperature of the plants is. That’s what I mean with fine tuning. First you collect data and then you act accordingly.”
Plasmeijer likes to experiment with sensors to obtain more data on a detailed level. Another example: “After we watered the calla’s we cover the plants with plastic. We never knew exactly what was happening underneath the plastic. Now we have placed a sensor under the plastic to investigate how we have to heat the greenhouse for perfect conditions under the plastic. We are very happy with this data. But if you collect data, you don’t have anything yet. You have to use it and learn how to work with it. That is what we are doing now.”