When delivering flower seeds, it is very important that the customer knows what percentage of the seeds give usable plants. Until recently, this so-called usable was determined manually. With the purchase of the GA-box from AgriData Innovations, that belongs to the past. By automating the process, the usable is now even more reliable.
Subjective human work
Previously, some seeds of a lot were sown. A few weeks later, employees counted the good plants in a tray. A labor-intensive job with a lot of room for subjectivity. This summer, we started using the GA-box from AgriData Innovations to automate the process.
Identically and objective
Head of Plant production René Janssen tells: “The counting was always human work, a subjective process. Because, how do you make sure everyone uses the same definition of ‘usable’? Now, the assessment of every tray is completely identical. The usable is always determined as fully objective. That makes us more reliable as a supplier.”
The GA-box is easy to use. René slides a tray in, closes the flap and the machine takes a picture. Just a moment later, an image of the tray full of red crosses and red, orange, and green circles appears on his screen. “A cross meant an empty cell land a red circle is a plant the machine rejects. For the usable, the orange and green circles count, which are plants that will grow out into a potable plant.”
The GA-box is made by AgriData Innovations. “A start-up that customized the machine to our wishes”, tells René. “Cyclamen germinate out of the borders of its culture cell. That is why the machine looks at the number of leaves.” And that is where the indispensability of employees comes around. “At first, you have to overthink what kind of tray you put in the machine. A tray that is only half-ful or where there is a weed, will not give a reliable result. Besides that, you have to start counting at the right moment in cultivation. If you are too late, the Cyclamen will have double leaves. Of course, that affects your usable.”
The results for Cyclamen are completely reliable. That means working on further automation. “We are now testing counting for Primula acaulis”, René says. “We are well ahead with that. Eventually, the aim is to use the GA box for all products. The plant remains our starting point, but we are going to work more and more data-driven. In that way, we can standardize and automate our production process more which results in a more reliable end product.”