Times are rapidly changing. Within horticulture there is a pressing need to be more sustainable. The challenges that current and future generations in horticulture are facing are to increase sustainability by minimizing their impact on the environment. One of the impacts that needs addressing is water scarcity, where growers worldwide are already looking into (new) practices on minimizing water usage and avoidance of overwatering.
The Connected Irrigation software, which is part of the IIVO irrigation module and launched at the GreenTech exhibition last June by Hoogendoorn Growth Management and Saint-Gobain Cultilene, offers to make that impact on the water footprint of the grower. The benefit of Connected Irrigation is reducing water, nutrients and energy use, while preventing plant stress and benefiting the root environment.
One of the biggest changes and current trends affecting growers is the switch from HPS artificial lighting to LED lighting. Plants receive 40 percent more heat from HPS lighting than from LED. As plants transpire less under LED, they take up less water and nutrients.
Recognizing how even one such change can impact on all the others, this new software will better support growers by providing a rapid overview of evapotranspiration levels in the crop and calculating water and nutrient levels to reflect these changes. Connected Irrigation meets the grower’s needs by taking the properties of substrates into account, enabling just-in-time supply of natural resources and ensuring sustainable crop production. This happens through maintenance of the optimal water balance of the crop. A grower who is already working with Connected Irrigation, is Den Berk Délice. During the last GreenTech exhibition in Amsterdam, Lucas Aertsen (Location manager) from Den Berk Délice was joined by Remy Maat (Manager Application) from Saint-Gobain Cultilene and Rene Beerkens (Senior Data Driven Growing Specialist) from Hoogendoorn Growth Management, and all shared their experiences on evaporative energy as a solution with their attendees. The simple goal of this presentation was to share this knowledge that will benefit growers worldwide, ensuring they have the ability to improve water use efficiency. This will lead to healthier, more resilient root systems and therefore better quality of plants, responding to the need to grow more healthy food.
To be able to get the most out of the product and one’s growing strategy, another possibility with Connected Irrigation are knowledge sessions, in the form of online training sessions and e-learnings. In this way, not only the tool is provided, but also the know-how to obtain maximum profit, keeping in mind the efficient use of nutrients, water and energy. Hoping to contribute in yet another way to minimizing the footprint of the grower and eventually contributing to a more sustainable horticulture.