As our expertise in spectral imaging is growing, we are able to collect high quality and consistent images from plants. Though the quality and disease monitoring for delicate and high value crops as vineyards remains our main focus, it was a logical step for us to explore other applications as well. So in the end of 2018, we started to use our expertise and knowledge to develop systems that help farmers with upcoming challenges in the intensifying greenhouse horticulture sector.
Greenhouses are a great way to produce high quality crops all year round. The perfect growing climate can be created to grow crops in summer-like conditions, even when it is cold and dark outside. Having the ability to control the climate within the greenhouse enables farmers to create the best growing conditions and obtain maximum yield per plant.
Though, these warm and humid climate conditions are also very beneficial for many kinds of insects and fungal diseases. These pests and diseases can cause major damage to crops, where in some cases production eventually stops because all the plants have to be removed to disinfect the greenhouse. The great challenge that comes with crop diseases is that once they are visible to the human eye, you are probably already too late and the infection has already spread.
The current option is too preventively use biological and chemical plant protection products. However, biological treatments become less and less effective and chemical treatments also inhibit the production of the plant itself. Moreover, farmers are being forced to use less and less chemical products by governments and consumers. Therefore it is a constant challenge for greenhouses farmers to prevent these pests and diseases in a sustainable way.
With our spectral technologies we are able to pick up plant signals that are not visible to the human eye and monitor when plants show the most early stages of stress and decreased photosynthetic activity. This way, we can alert farmers when the infections are still manageable. And allow for a more local treatment of the disease. Saving time, costs and resources and eventually prevent major potential yield losses.
With the help of REWIN West-Brabant, Stuurgroep LIB, Proefcentrum Hoogstraaten and a pool of innovative growers we have set out a mission to develop a monitoring system for strawberry plants. The strawberry industry is of great importance to the province of Noord-Brabant as almost 80% of all Dutch grown strawberries are produced in this region.
Currently we are doing field tests at growers and research facilities to validate the technology and to push the boundaries of how soon we can detect plant stress in strawberries. The first results are very promising.
Do you want to learn more about our innovative monitoring technology and see what we can do for you production? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org