Food for thought Vision

Angela Barendregt, Projectmanager International Business & Strategy at Hoogendoorn Growth Managent, shares her vision on 2021.

Monday, 22 March 2021

In a world where innovation is central, horticultural companies must innovate at lightning speed. In 2021 horticulture evolves towards a more data-driven horticulture. By this means, the use of Artificial Intelligence becomes more important. Artificial Intelligence is indeed a very powerful tool for the optimization of cultivation processes but these models should always be combined with plant physiology to realize the optimal outcome for the crop. In order to label this evolution as successful, the horticultural industry should not only focus on black-box AI Models. Therefore, the data-driven horticulture should revolve around the combination of data, plant physiology with today’s technology. Herewith, growers are not only able to improve the quality and yield of their crops, but can also grow more sustainably.

A one-fits-all solution can be considered as impossible because Machine Learning and Deep-learning AI Models should be trained for the specific needs of the crop and tailored to the local climate conditions. Furthermore, all growers have a broad and diverse scale of technological applications in their greenhouses. As a result, the automation of the greenhouse's climate and irrigation strategy requires a different approach per greenhouse. Additional to the use of Artificial Intelligence, the use of Expert Intelligence is of great importance.

For this reason, the Plant Empowerment Principles have been integrated into the IIVO process computer of Hoogendoorn Growth Management. The Plant Empowerment Principles keep the three plant balances in equilibrium; the water balance, the assimilate balance and the energy balance. Herewith, processes are being controlled in a more structured way. This results in a consistent growth climate in the greenhouse, whilst the use of natural resources is minimized. Practice has invariably shown that the application of the Plant Empowerment Principles is the roadmap towards a sustainable and profitable horticulture. After all, knowledge is plant power.

On top of that, who knows more can grow more. The continuous flow of data, collected during cultivation, generates real-time insights into the conditions within your greenhouse and the health of your plants. Insights that can be used to power Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology to grow even smarter over time. One can state that a high-quality dataset is indispensable for well-performing AI models and correct data-analyses. A consequent and high-quality data-set can be considered as one of the keys to ensure autonomous irrigation and climate control.

Herewith an important subject to the debate about in 2021 is data-ownership. Hoogendoorn attaches enormous importance to data security. Moreover, we always assure that the data belongs to the customer, which is not always the case with other companies. On that account, IIVO is completely integrated with software to allow the further implementation of autonomous irrigation and climate control. Both the Hoogendoorn and the software warrant transparency and data-security, by means of their ISO27001 certification. While many companies talk about data security, both parties are actually certified.

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