At the dawn of a new industrial revolution, technology is more and more crucial specifically in farming. Greenhouse automation in particular is rising in popularity as supply chains are squeezed and margins reduced. Producers are able to create more efficient operations, which in turn lead to more stable and robust crops.
Controlled environment agriculture is not necessarily a new concept, but the ability to deploy advanced computer-based cultivation solutions takes things to a new level. From promoting plant health to reducing the risk of human error, the perks of so-called “smart farming” are seemingly endless.
Continue reading for a breakdown of the top benefits of greenhouse automation.
Controlled Environments Create More Consistent Crops
Every farmer’s goal is to get the highest yields of the best quality product possible. Many crops are extremely fickle, and even the slightest deviation in their growth cycles can derail their overall health and outcomes. Unfortunately, this happens all too often whether due to simple mistakes made by employees or anomalies within the plant’s genetics that require changes to things like feeding schedules.
Utilizing controlled agriculture solutions such as automated lights, water, and nutrients allows plants to get exactly what they need delivered with extreme precision. Collecting data throughout the life cycle allows for adjustments to be made based on crop performance, allowing growers to truly dial in their processes. Automation provides a 360-degree look at how each individual plant performs and gives farmers the opportunity to track and store this information, fine-tuning their practices to ensure perfection.
Automated Greenhouse Systems Prevent Problems Before They Start
The vast majority of growers will tell you that their jobs center around problem-solving. Whether it’s nutrient deficiencies, overly hot or cold conditions, or pH issues in the water, complications are almost guaranteed to occur at some point.
Deploying smart sensors like those found in automated greenhouse systems allow facilities to closely monitor environmental conditions. Alerts can be set to notify staff of changes in things like temperature and humidity, allowing for adjustments before these fluctuations wreak havoc on plants. Data collection throughout growth cycles can pinpoint areas in need of improvement to help create better operating procedures moving forward.
Greenhouse Automation Saves Money
Opting to invest in automated greenhouse systems may seem financially daunting, but the truth is they will actually increase your bottom line in the long run. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly comes into play here, but avoiding costly crop issues is only one part of the equation.
Control systems reduce labor costs by reducing the time it tasks to complete many essential greenhouse tasks. Horticultural professionals can focus their energy on other duties, while simultaneously monitoring and engaging the automated greenhouse system on a simple-to-use app. If staffing shortages ever occur, or if employees must work from home, crops will still be in good hands thanks to handy remote system access.
Smart Cultivation Promotes Sustainability
Agriculture is a crucial industry, but it’s no secret that the resources required can be overwhelming. With environmental concerns at the forefront of many minds, along with the rising cost of utilities in many parts of the world, farms, specifically indoor and greenhouse facilities, must do what it takes to be more resource-efficient.
Automation helps to reduce the overuse of inputs such as water and nutrients through consistent delivery. Analysis of data collected throughout the life cycle of the crop can help producers pinpoint areas where they may be able to decrease certain resources, further lowering environmental impact and, as an added bonus, boosting margins.
Farming isn’t as simple as just throwing seeds into the ground and watering them occasionally until it's time to harvest. Agriculture is an extremely nuanced practice, with an industry built on time-tested practices combined with modern equipment meant to increase crop yields and satisfy consumers.
Greenhouse automation is the future of controlled environment farming, utilizing smart IoT technology to boost operational efficiency, promote plant health, and reduce overall costs. Adopting automated greenhouse systems allows cultivators to dial in their practices while simultaneously mitigating risks. With supply chain pressure increasing, it’s only a matter of time before these cutting-edge solutions are the norm across verticals.
Are you ready to learn more about what greenhouse automation by AI Grow can do for your business? Contact us now.