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Improve indoor farming potential & profit with accurate data

Lucy Starley
October 12, 2021
3 min read
Indoor farming set up with two growers assessing the health of a plant
Indoor farming set up with two growers assessing the health of a plant
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The right greenhouse technology saves time, money & improves profits.

The commercial growing industry is rooted in meeting the consumer demand for fresh, local and seasonal produce. Whilst growing top quality produce, commercial farmers and growers also have a responsibility to respect the natural environment. In turn, they can reap the rewards of improved profits, ROI and reputational gains.

As with any industry reliant on nature, there are many variables for indoor growers to manage. With the use of clever technology, this mammoth task can be simplified, whilst becoming more intelligent and efficient too.

How technology can work alongside you

Technological advancements are moving at a rapid pace, and keeping up with these can seem like a full-time job in itself. By investing in technology such as smart agri-sensors and soil sensors, you can accurately measure the current environmental conditions within your indoor greenhouse or tunnel.

With the live data that these sensors produce, you are able to assess your operation and make informed decisions about how to improve and enhance your growing space, without unnecessarily buying new technology that may not be ideal for your unique setup.

The ability to make data-driven decisions is shaping the way that indoor farming advances, helping farmers and growers to produce higher quality products, better yields and improved profits. This, in turn, helps the wider supply chain systems to meet the ever-growing consumer demand, whilst not adding more stress or pressure to farming practices.

As you will no doubt know, there are significant costs involved in running a commercial growing operation, and some of these can be minimised with effective environmental management. Using technology to highlight the strengths and weaknesses within your growing environment can save time, people power and reduce the likelihood of waste through underperforming or diseased crops. All of this can have a positive impact on your profits and the future successes of your business.

Checkout this post on why commercial farming needs to embrace technology.

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The importance of measuring CO2

Achieving and maintaining optimum CO2 levels in your grow space is vital in order to stimulate photosynthesis. But it’s not as simple as just measuring CO2 levels.

The complex relationship between CO2, temperature and humidity needs to be acknowledged to ensure that accurate data can be produced. The Grow Sensor has been designed to effectively read this relationship and to report intelligent data to give commercial growers the best insight possible.

Optimising Vapour Pressure Deficit (VPD)

The humidity and temperature of your growing space are key things to keep a watch over as they contribute to the likelihood of unwanted condensation and disease. Monitoring these key factors with accurate data can save you time, money and waste.

Whilst the importance of temperature and humidity are widely understood in indoor farming, VPD is a lesser discussed topic, but arguably one which is much more important to focus on.

Vapour Pressure Deficit is the term given to the complex relationship between the level of moisture inside the leaves of your plants and the level of moisture that the surrounding air in your grow space can hold at full saturation.

Understanding this relationship between your plants and the air at the boundary layer of the leaf canopy will provide you with knowledge about how much air and water your plant can process.

The transpiration rate of your plants is directly linked to VPD, and also has an impact on your water usage, fertiliser use and the energy needed to control the relative temperature and humidity within your indoor grow space. In turn, your operating costs, yields and quality of your plants are also impacted and therefore understanding VPD is vital to improving the potential of your farm and your profits.

VPD can be manually calculated but this requires a fair amount of work. Instead, the use of Grow Sensors can provide you with VPD data and save you the effort whilst ensuring a high level of accuracy.

The optimum VPD both for your plants and your environment’s benefit can be worked out to a few % of relative humidity and fractions of a degree in temperature, so using technology such as a Grow Sensor in this area is recommended in order to gain the correct level of accuracy.

Takeaways

  • A smart agri-sensor can work alongside you and your current equipment to bring you beneficial information and data about your growing operation.
  • The use of sensor technology can save you time, money and people power.
  • You can prevent sub-optimal environmental conditions, and pest outbreaks by actively managing your grow space using the data provided by an agri-sensor.
  • The overall quality of your products and yields can be improved simply by installing Grow Sensors and soil probes into your indoor growing environment.
  • Your skills and knowledge as a grower can be enhanced by the data generated by smart agri-sensors, giving you the confidence to grow better plants.

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Lucy Starley
October 12, 2021
3 min read

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