High-tech machine learning in the greenhouse?
|The challenge of modern agriculture|
|August 24, 2020|
Modern agriculture is tasked with providing more quality food to a growing population, in a sustainable manner, while maintaining healthy margins.
Even with all the advances that have been made, agriculture will not be able to meet the growing demand without a fundamental revolution, and that revolution is managing agricultural operations with accurate data and automation.
Irrigation as an example
Surprisingly, despite the importance of irrigation and the complexity of the decision, research shows that irrigation is the farming decision least supported by data (Survey of precision-ag by Croplife and Purdue University).
But greenhouses are a different matter. They are home to extreme growing: high value produce is intensely cultivated to drive fast growth cycles and high yields. Substrate often has low water retention properties. In such an environment there is little margin for error. Late response that leads to a small amount of under or over irrigation can have a high impact on crop yield or quality. Worse - it can kill the crops.
It’s time for a change
Viridix’ mission is to help farmers achieve the agriculture of the future, by simplifying and automating one of the most important and time consuming decisions in farming. The irrigation data gathering process is still labor intensive and decisions are manual. What attempts that have been made to introduce data into the process have failed due to inaccurate moisture sensing technologies and the need for constant calibration and maintenance. With such low quality data, automation is not possible. Another issue were the high costs of implementation that canceled any positive ROI that the systems generated may have generated.
Viridix has been working with growers - both greenhouse and others - for the past few years on a different type of system. Low maintenance RooTenseTM water potential sensors constantly monitor soil moisture at varying ground depths. Data is transmitted over standard wireless networks to the Viridix cloud where AI and machine learning are used to generate actionable insights. Integrated irrigation control systems then execute the plan to provide plants with just the right amount of water.
Using high-tech machine learning techniques to meet modern agriculture challenges is not science fiction. In fact, it is much quicker and simpler than what you might think.
For more info please contact Tal Maor: firstname.lastname@example.org