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Food for thought

Improving cultivation results with AI

Author: Source
Tuesday, 22 August 2023

How data driven solutions can help growers to save time, reduce costs and achieve more consistent results.

Greenhouse agriculture has become the solution for sustainable, local, and climate-resilient food production. Innovation and technologies like AI are vital for improving growers' cultivation processes. By adopting data-driven solutions, growers can save time, reduce costs, and achieve greater result consistency.


C.Zwinkels, a leading bell pepper cultivator in the Netherlands, has achieved a remarkable 10% increase in fruit weight throughout the growing season using data-driven insights to track, compare and imrove cultivations.  Situated on a 20-hectare site in Wervershoof, the nursery excels in sustainable practices, employing techniques like biological control, drain water recirculation, and heating through Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems.

In 2022, C.Zwinkels shifted from yellow to red bell peppers, introducing new challenges. Head Grower and General Manager Arus Biersteker turned to AI solutions to optimize cultivation across their three greenhouses, each spanning seven hectares.

Cultivation Challenges

Maintaining consistent red pepper fruit weight, especially with the Alzamora pepper variety, proved challenging. Stretching plants excessively early in the season risked fruit weight later on. Also, previous aphid-related setbacks led to premature cultivation termination and added labor costs. At the same time, interpreting data from climate computers proved complex, especially for less experienced growers.

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Leveraging Source for Precision Cultivation

In 2022, C.Zwinkels partnered with, implementing their platform. The hardware-agnostic solution allowed comprehensive tracking, comparison, and improvement of cultivation practices. The Source App enabled precise plant measurements.

Impact of Source

Source efficiently tracked Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), including irrigation-light ratios, plant load, drainage, and dry down stages. By simulating plant biology and optimizing photosynthesis, the data-driven solutions provided C. Zwinkels with real-time KPI insights. During the entire process Arus Biersteker could therefore make informed decisions through an intuitive dashboard.

Strategic Planning and Enhanced Results

The platform offered real-time insights and empowered C.Zwinkels to compare results against initial cultivation plans. This strategic alignment enabled cultivation efforts effectively, leading to better decision-making and yield improvement. The platform's predictive abilities based on real plant data enabled accurate forecasts, boosting overall profitability.

Positive Outcomes and Sustainable Growth

The integration of the AI solutions from Source led to a remarkable 10% increase in pepper fruit weight throughout the entire season. By refining their approach to cultivation decisions, C.Zwinkels achieved consistent and improved produce quality, leading to increased revenue and demand. The platform's ability to forecast based on real-time plant data resulted in a significant improvement in yield throughout the season.

Do you want to learn more about Source's AI solutions, visit

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