The smart greenhouses use less water and produce fruit and vegetables year-round
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Spotted: Doing more with less has become a common refrain in agriculture. Growers continually seek ways to increase their growing capabilities while reducing the amount of pollutants they release into the environment. Technology is supporting many of the changes in the industry, from apps that help farmers monitor crop health from afar to face masks that reduce the emissions from cow burps. Vertical farms are helping to reduce urban produce deserts, and that growing technology is now being expanded to assist with larger, more land-intensive crops.
Using its SaaS platform, Amsterdam-based Source provides AI-powered analysis that helps growers with the many decisions they must make each day for their indoor crops. Cyprus is the planning algorithm that calculates which resources to use in what quantities to maximise plant growth. Arthur evaluates growing and market conditions to tweak day-to-day planning and actions. And when things don’t go to plan, the AIs incorporate the changes and identify the next most efficient steps to take.
Much of hydroponic and indoor growing has focused on smaller, lighter-weight plants such as lettuces and herbs, and it is the upscaling to commercial volumes of large-vine crops and other plants that Source sees as the future of effective global farming. Citing the need to feed nearly 10 billion people worldwide in the coming years, the company says on its website that crop yields are expected to be 20 per cent lower due to climate change.
Smart greenhouses can reverse that trend and improve growing conditions helping the environment and producers. The company offers its technology on a sliding scale based on the amount being grown, and is seeking partners, clients, and staff as take-up of the innovation grows.
Written by: Keely Khoury