What is #datadriven growing?

Growing plants can be a complex task often described as a work of art. What we mean by this, is that we all know plants require certain things to grow and thrive, such as light, water, and nutrients, but anyone that grows a plant knows it is not as simple as 1,2,3. This is because the factors plants need to thrive interact with and influence each other. For example, light also has a heating element that affects the temperature, water can affect the temperature by changing the humidity, and so on. What complicated things even more, is that plant growth interacts with the climate; transpiration increases heat and humidity, photosynthesis can affect CO2, and so on. In order for growers to be successful, they must know the art of how to balance many different factors to keep their plants happy. Up until now, this art form of growing has relied on years of experience to develop the knowledge-base and intuition required for optimal production.

Data-driven growing is a different form of growing, where growers read the data about their climate factors and plant growth factors, and can tell how these measurements will influence their yield. In #datadriven growing, growers not only react to data points, but are able to predict downstream effects on their crop early on to take action before any negative effects unfold. For example, growers may see the absolute humidity of their greenhouse is high and notice the photosynthetic rate of their plants in one area has decreased, indicating these plants are under some sort of stress, such as a fungal pathogen. These growers could take action to quarantine these plants to prevent fungal pathogens from spreading throughout the greenhouse, all before the physical plant symptoms are visible to the naked eye. Recent technology advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and intelligent automation (IA) have begun to revolutionize the field of agriculture, ushering in a new digital age. Many different types of data can be collected within indoor farming facilities to produce a digital image of the climate and current crop conditions using IoT sensors. Growers can now access these data points from anywhere with wifi, even on their phones. Technologies like Koidra’s Control Center platform utilize these data points along with AI and the mathematics defining nature to explain how different climate factors influence each other and plant growth. For the first time ever, growers can harness the power of big data in the palm of their hands to monitor and analyze how their current climate status is affecting their crops, and what actions they can take to improve yield and resource use efficiency. No advanced mathematics degree required 😉.

Imagine predicting precisely when and how much water your crops will need in order to maximize growth, minimize water use, and increase profits. Or, being able to predict that turning the temperature down 5 more degrees now instead of 2 degrees 8 hours later will save more energy and keep your plants happier? These are the types of predictions made possible with data-driven growing, based on the data collected from sensors and the math behind the nature of growing plants. This book will cover the topics of plant growth fundamentals and how growers can use new technologies available to improve their controlled environment agriculture production with data-driven growing.