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Tag: controlled environment agriculture

Agnetix Launches Phenom

AGNETIX LAUNCHES PHENOM LIQUID COOLED MULTI-SENSOR AND IMAGING SMART HORTICULTURE LIGHTING SYSTEM FOR VERTICAL FARMING

Advanced data-focused solutions for indoor cultivation

PHENOM is a trailblazing new vertical grow lighting system with integrated sensor and imaging technologies building on the success of the innovative A3 and ZENITH luminaires. PHENOM integrates plant health sensors and a canopy imaging platform with the patented Agnetix liquid cooled hydronics system. Vertical farms can now increase density, height and energy efficiency by counteracting the environmental impacts caused by micro-climates and fixture waste heat pervasive in commercial grows featuring passively cooled lights.

PHENOM is designed for crops that require a Daily Light Integral (photosynthetic light measurement) for optimum growth ranging from 15-30 DLI, such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries, to much higher DLI crops such as cannabis, which requires over 40 DLI. PHENOM may also be used in combination with the Agnetix A3 or ZENITH luminaires from start through vegetative growth and flowering as a full facility cultivation platform operating at the lowest carbon footprint of any grower in the same class.

The industry benchmark efficiency of the Agnetix system can now deliver close-proximity 100% PAR light (photosynthetically active radiation) to multi-level grows with luminaire wattage of 375 and an astonishing PPE (photosynthetic photon efficacy) of up to 3.61µmol/J and precision dimming 100-1%. Agnetix patented hydronics cooling extracts up to 140 watts of waste heat from the room per fixture significantly reducing the amount of energy intensive HVAC required versus any other light source.

The Agnetix environmental, thermal-sensing and computer-vision platform allows the vertical farmer to interact via the user interface remotely from the safety and convenience of their computer or mobile device, continuously monitoring the conditions and plant performance at enterprise scale with speed and convenience.

Sensor and imaging technologies empower key stakeholders with direct visualization of plant size and quality:

• Temperature, Relative Humidity, CO₂ ppm Sensor
• Leaf Temperature Sensor (IR)
• Reflected Canopy Light Intensity and Color Sensor
• Canopy Distance and Growth Rate Sensor
• Imaging Engine with Camera and Multi-wavelength LED Flash Illuminator

Critical plant and environmental information captured from PHENOM and HARMONY sensors intersect on the Agnetix HMI dashboard, enabling both manual and automated analysis capabilities.

“PHENOM is the next level of sustainable cultivation for high density controlled environment agriculture. It’s the ultimate high efficiency data driven solution for serious commercial growers and a game changing competitive advantage for our customers.” said Jordan Miles, CEO, Agnetix

Agnetix PHENOM is available to pre-order today with a select offering from the series available to ship to customers in Q2, 2022. For more information, visit www.agnetix.com or contact Sales@agnetix.com.

You can see PHENOM first-hand at Indoor Ag-Con, February 28 – March 1, 2022 in Agnetix booth 3013.

Surna Cultivation Technologies Announces Benching And Racking Line-Up

Continues Expanding Surna’s Product Offering to Commercial Growers

 Surna Inc. (OTCQB: SRNA), operating as Surna Cultivation Technologies,  announced another expansion to its products and service offering to include benching and racking equipment. Surna is a seasoned leader in the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) market and is intent on bringing the most efficient and sustainable designs and systems to the industry. Surna’s benching and racking can be adapted to the grower’s specific requirements.

“Whether you’re a craft grower with a limited amount of space, or a large commercial grower with thousands of square feet and expansion plans, some sort of benching or racking is required for a successful grow. This is true whether you’re cultivating cannabis or food,” said Jamie English, Surna’s Vice President of Marketing Communications. “As Surna has rapidly but thoughtfully expanded its product and services offering, benching and racking systems are a natural fit to add to our line-up of design and equipment offerings.”

Surna now offers a full portfolio of benching and racking options that include single-tier, ebb and flow growing benches, stationary benches, rolling and tracking benches, multi-tier vertical farming racks (also known as archive shelves), and cloning and drying racks.Surna at Indoor Ag-Con 2022

About Surna

Surna Inc. (www.surna.com), operating as Surna Cultivation Technologies, is an industry leader in CEA facility design and technologies. We provide full-service licensed architectural and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services, carefully curated HVACD equipment, proprietary controls systems, and benching and racking products. Our team of project managers, licensed professional architects and engineers, technology and horticulture specialists and systems integrations experts help our customers by precisely designing for their unique applications. Through our partnership with a certified service contractor network, we provide installation and maintenance services to assist in a smooth build-out and optimal facility performance. We have been providing solutions to indoor growers for over 15 years and have served over 800 cultivators with over 200 of them being large, commercial projects.

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, we leverage our experience in the industry to bring value-added solutions to our customers that help improve their overall crop quality and yield, optimize energy and water efficiency, and satisfy evolving state and local codes, permitting and regulatory requirements.

Conviron and Argus: key players in Medicago’s COVID-19 plant derived vaccine development

Winnipeg-based Conviron, a leading supplier of controlled environments for plant production, is pleased to announce the award of a major project involving the expansion of Medicago’s vaccine manufacturing facilities in Durham NC. Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, is moving forward in their participation to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by building additional infrastructure for the development and manufacturing of plant-derived vaccines – a process that produces a high volume of vaccine in shorter production timelines.

Located in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, the facility expansion features several customized controlled environmental rooms from Conviron, which are used in the manufacturing process for plant germination and plant expression of virus-like particles. Conviron’s sister company amd Indoor Ag-Con 2021 Exhibitor, Argus Controls, is providing the controls and automation of all the plant-growing spaces in the expanded facility. The decision to use Conviron stemmed from the relationship that started back in 2012, when Conviron first provided plant growth rooms to Medicago’s facility in Quebec.

In an interview with Martin Cash (for the Winnipeg Free Press)¹ a spokeswoman for the company said Medicago hopes to have enough data showing the efficacy and safety of the vaccine by the end of June and then would be able to start production shortly after that.

Cash also had to opportunity to review this topic with John Proven, president of Conviron, who said it’s one of the most important projects for Conviron this year. Proven said Conviron is glad to be part of a Canadian effort to battle the pandemic.

You can read the original “Local company key player in homegrown vaccine” article published by visiting the Winnipeg Free Press website.

Q & A With The Villages Grown Executive Director Jennifer Waxman

 Creating A Local Food System With A Community-Centric Approach 

Indoor Ag-Con is excited to welcome The Villages Grown Executive Director Jennifer Waxman to our conference speaker roster for the October 4-5, 2021 edition at the Hilton Orlando.

The innovative growing complex for The Villages — the active adult retirement community located in Central Florida — The Villages Grown encompasses cutting-edge greenhouses, a state-of-the-art processing facility and delivery fleet. But that’s only part of the incredible story.

As Executive Director, Jennifer is the visionary behind the development of the successful business and educational model for The Villages Grown. We had the chance to talk to Jennifer to learn more about her community-centered approach, expanding markets, wellness programs, initiatives and more.

1 – The Villages is a massive retirement community; how many actual mouths does The Villages Grown feed (size of customer base)?

We could feed the 165,000+ residents multiple times a day with a full and colorful plate of whole foods. Within our community, we span over 3 counties and growing. We not only feed our residents, of which we call ‘The Villagers’, but also  thousands of employees. You can find our product in our restaurant chains, independent restaurants, our own retail units, Publix locations, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and the like.The Villages Grown

There is a wonderful sense of pride from both The Villagers and the team members who work throughout the community within The Villages Grown. We have created a true Local Food System with a community-centric approach. We are very proud to serve first as an amenity to The Villages and the vibrant community of which we serve. Our community is active and engaged with what we are doing and ready to learn. This is a community of wellness where people are living their best lives and are ‘fueled by The Villages Grown’. In fact, The Villages is home to the largest aging-in-place demographic in the world. We are going to put our money where our mouth is, literally, by embarking on a Health Impact Study to demonstrate that  eating this way, from our Local Food System, is beneficial to one’s health and wellbeing.

How do we do it? The Villages Grown is a multi-phased CEA production operation positioned on a total of 85 acres. Currently, we are on Phase 1 (of 4 phases) which covers a 9-acre footprint. Phase I has been in production for over a year and will produce over 7.5 million pounds of a diversified produce product mix. This mix includes all the core items one needs to live a healthy, food-as-medicine, lifestyle,including year-round: Heirloom Tomatoes, Microgreens, Lettuces, Petite Greens, Herbs and Specialty Items.

2.As a follow-up,  we were interested to read the exciting news that The Villages Grown is expanding its market beyond the town center and mobile trucks you’ve been selling through, to now sell your produce at Publix. Is this part of a larger plan to reach customers outside of the Villages?

The Villages Grown Executive Director Jennifer Waxman to Speak At Indoor Ag-Con 2021We have already expanded beyond The Villages community and within Central Florida, the Gulf Coast and are entering South Florida mid-August! We will expand our Publix footprint, along with other retailers of which we have already entered (or are soon to enter) but have also become a Florida supplier for four large National Restaurant Groups, as well as into the Cruise Lines and Theme Parks through our distribution partners.

We have at least 3 more buildout Phases to follow as we expand our operations throughout our total acreage, thus allowing us to literally ‘Feed Florida, From Florida’. I think we also take a different approach, and we have a strong and impactful narrative. We grow for nutrients first and foremost, taste naturally follows and we’ve already cracked the code on volume. Most CEAs grow for volume, taste may somewhat be part of the equation, but nutrients rarely are.The Villages Grown

This message is getting out about our model and position as the largest CEA in Florida, so we are getting calls from the Big Dogs on a weekly basis. These are exciting times, but a long time in the making! We dedicated almost two years to strategic planning and preselling before we ever broke ground. My consulting team was able to leverage our clients, past strategies, and reputations from our previous worlds to make this happen.

3 – Jennifer, as a woman in what many would define as a male-dominated industry, how have you navigated your way and how would you advise young women seeking to enter the industry?

I love this question and have been asked this a lot since entering the agricultural industry back in 2000. Agriculture has been looked at as a heavy lifting, labor-intensive industry coupled with a ‘Good Ole Boy’ network. Well, welcome to CEA! You just need drive, determination, confidence, experience and – BRAINS! The industry is ever emerging and innovating and a lot of this ebb and flow is powered by amazing female leaders in every sector of CEA (just look at your speakers – well done!).

The Villages GrownI am fortunate to be surrounded by powerful female peers in CEA. In fact, we have created a CEA alliance in Florida. I am happy that this alliance includes 4 of the top female CEOs in the business (*one is speaking at your conference as well). We don’t see each other as competition, we work alongside of each other and share Best Practices – and sometimes accounts. On a side note, most of my team is female dominated and this is not by design, but by merit. They are fierce yet nurturing, which is a must in agriculture.

4 – What kind of technology is being employed in terms of your approach to IPM, supplemental lighting and data capture?

We like to say we use ‘age-old agricultural practices coupled with new-age technology.’ As a CEA industry veteran, I am not sold on going simply high-tech – not in the least. It should be about growing a nutrient-dense, tasty, safe, quality product and not all the bells and whistles — which is why so many CEA companies have not, and may never, achieve a ROI.

We use a full IPM strategy, including worker bees that exist in Mother Nature and are crucial for growing the most nutrient-dense, strong plants. We are in Florida, and we use nature’s sunshine as a tool. We supplement when needed using both LED and HPS lighting. We have our facility on full AI with an advanced control system. We capture our data through our control system along with 3 other types of software. Our goal is to use that data to continually improve our SOPs and methodologies.

5 – Indoor Ag Con is all about people and given the built-in, leisurely and social nature of The Villages, tell us how you are bringing members of the community together (i.e., Farmer’s Markets, classes and onsite tours, etc.)?

We are a community-based model of which we have created a true Local Food System. We are not only the grower, but we aggregate from our network of both local family farms, as well as artisans who use our product in their finished products. This approach makes us stand out and is simply the right thing to do. This has garnered a lot of attention, even globally, but especially in The Villages.The Villages Grown

We use a multi-media approach for engagement. I can reach  100 to 150,000 Villagers at a time – live at events and/or broadcasted. We also utilize TV, radio, and print programming to educate. We believe that you can’t create a Local Food System without education at the forefront. We have a demonstration kitchen launching soon which is set up like a talk show of which we will have satellite programming distributed to members within and outside of the community as well as with our clients and partners. We are not open to the public due to our Global GAP Certification, but we give our network a ‘taste of The Villages Grown’ through virtual tours.

I am a plant-based cook, and several members of our team are as well, so we also deliver Medical Culinary Wellness programs and initiatives. We also train our medical networks for the Practitioner to the Patient on a Food-as-Medicine lifestyle approach. Quite frankly, it’s a dream, but it isn’t an overnight success. This model has been created over two decades in the agricultural and wellness industry.

My life’s work has been solidified by surrounding myself with innovators who are smarter than me. My team is amazing!

 

Jennifer Waxman will be joining our “Expansion” panel  from 10:30 am – 11:20 am on Tuesday, October 5 during the October 4-5, 2021 edition of Indoor Ag-Con at the Hilton Orlando.

REGISTER TODAY!

 

CEADs Standards 1.0 Presented At October 2021 Indoor Ag-Con

Indoor Ag-Con is pleased to announce that members of the leadership team for CEADS – Controlled Environment Agriculture Design Standards – will introduce Standards v1.0 to our attending audience during the October 4-5, 2021 edition at the Hilton Orlando.

The CEADS cultivate industry-vetted best practices into peer-reviewed standards.  These standards enable CEA enterprises to become industry leaders by optimizing their sustainability practices and performance.CEADS Standards At Indoor Ag-Con 2021

Defining Goals for the CEA Industry

Established in September 2019, CEADS evolved following the USDA/NIFA Az-CEA Conference at The University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2. Here,  participants from industry, government, and academia collaborated to define goals for the advancement of the controlled environment agriculture industry.

During Indoor Ag-Con, CEADS leadership team members, including Matt Liotta , Founder Emeritis of Agrify; Charles Parrish, Agricultural Engineer , UbiQD, Inc. and Dr. Gary Stutte, president, SyNRGE,LLC, will present the new standards.

Achieving More Sustainable Operations

CEADS  aim is to provide a centralized repository of best design practices. CEADS also strives to set  benchmarks for sustainable CEA operations from greenhouses to vertical farms.

In addition, CEADS main objective is to establish a practice to more sustainable operation. The CEADS encompass the management of water, energy, materials, byproducts, pests and safety. Based on their operation type, farmers and growers can obtain relevant standards, certifications and regulations in the following domains:CEADS Standards at Indoor Ag-Con 2021

• Utilities
• Materials & Waste
• Crop Quality
• Integrated Pest Management
• Automation & Labor
• Equity & Localness
• Profitability

In addition to Matt Liotta, Charles Parrish and Gary Stutte, other members of the CEADS Leadership Team include:

– Bekah Waller, Secretary (The University of Arizona)
– Weslynne Ashton (Illinois Institute of Technology)
– Jess Bunchek (NASA’s Kennedy Space Center)

CEADS also has a strong Avisory Board including academics, growers, industry suppliers
– Mark Lefsrud (McGill University)
– Simone Valle de Souza (Michigan State University)
– Penny McBride (Second Chances Farm, LLC)
– Tharindu Weeraratne (WayBeyond)
– Charles Wu (Nexem)
– Corinne Wilder (Fluence by OSRAM)
– Brady Nemeth (Fluence by OSRAM)
– Gene Giacomelli (The University of Arizona)
– David Kessler (Agrify)

Make plans now to join us at Indoor Ag-Con to learn more. And, you can also read more about CEADS here and by visiting the website, too.

Indoor Ag-Con,Brad McNamara, Farm Tech Society to Host Indoor Ag Financing Program | June 8-9, 2021

‘Crossing the Chasm: Financing Indoor Ag From Seed To Scale’ To Feature Panel Discussions With Successful Indoor Ag Entrepreneurs, Their Investors & Other Experts
On Nuances of Financing Across All Stages

What is each stage of financing? How does financing change as you grow?  Can you “skip the line”?  Attendees will get answers to these questions and many more during a special edition of the popular Indoor Ag-Conversations series, “Crossing the Chasm: Financing Indoor Ag From Seed to Scale,”  scheduled for June 8 & 9, 2021 from 1:00 – 4:30 PM each day.  Co-hosted by Indoor Ag-Con, Brad McNamara and the FarmTech Society, the virtual program will bring together successful indoor agriculture entrepreneurs. The program will include  6 panel discussions over two days offering an in-depth look at financing across all stages.

“In surveys on educational offerings, finance/funcing is  the most requested topic we receive,” says Brian Sulllivan, Co-Owner/Partner, Indoor Ag-Con. Crossing The Chasm Financing Indoor Ag Seed To Scale june 8 and 9 2021 “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Brad McNamara and FarmTech Society Chair Ian Kanski for this special edition of our Indoor Ag-Conversations series. “Calling upon their own proven, hands-on industry experience and knowledge, Brad and Ian have put together an incredible program. It will give attendees a crystal clear roadmap to build their CEA funding strategy – from seed to scale.”

Day 1 | June 8, 2021| 1:00 – 4:30 PM EDT   — Seed to Series B – Presented By Brad McNamara 

Featuring 3 in-depth panel discussions with successful entrepreneurs and their investors. Host Brad McNamara, industry advisor, entrepreneur, will push for first-hand accounts of each round. The goal –  to pull back the curtain on funding an idea and creating an investment grade business in CEA.

Sessions will include:

  • Seed – Idea and Opportunity with Allison Kopf, Founder & CEO, Artemis and Ed Kim, Managing Partner, Red Dog Capital
  • Series A – Opportunity and Business with Virginia Emery, CEO & Founder, Beta Hatch and Louis Kang, Managing Director, AccelR8
  • Series B – Business & Growth
Day 2 | June 9, 2021 | 1:00 PM- 4:30 PM | Crossing The Chasm — Presented By FarmTech Society

2020 was a big year for CEA.  In addition,  the next two years are likely to see unprecedented growth and change in the sector. On day 2 of the  Indoor Ag-Conversations ‘Seed to Scale’ event, host FarmTech Society will focus on the maturing of the industry as CEA “crosses the chasm” into mainstream adoption.

FarmTech Society leadership will moderate three panel discussions. These will focuson the realities of profitability and scale in different CEA operations. Sessions will also report  on current trends. What’s more, sessions willl also focus on innovations in finance and investment for the CEA industry. And, forecasting on emerging opportunities and funding strategies for companies and new commercial projects.
Sessions will include:

  • Risks and Rewards -Reality Checking the Economics and Risk Factors of CEA
  • Growing Up – Moving Beyond High Risk, High Cost Investment Capital
  • CEA As Green Infrastructure – Positioning For Scale As Environmental and Social Impact Factors Become Essential to Investor Decisions

Admission to the two-day program, including all six panel discussions, is $49.  To register and learn more about sessions, speakers and additional details, visit www.indoor.ag/webinar.

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON LLC

Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for vertical farming | indoor agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. The next edition is slated for October 4-5, 2021 at the Hilton Orlando.  Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. In December 2018, three event industry professionals – Nancy Hallberg, Kris Sieradzki and Brian Sullivan – acquired Indoor Ag-Con LLC, setting the stage for further expansion of the events globally. www. indoor.ag

ABOUT BRAD McNAMARA

Brad McNamara is a 4x founder and 2x CEO, who thrives where bits & bytes meet the physical world. He is an idea to Series B operator with experience incubating, starting, and scaling hardware and software businesses.  As the Founding CEO of Freight Farms, Inc.,  an ag-tech company on a mission to enable on-site commercial food production anywhere in the world, he built the product, team, and business from zero to a global footprint.  www.bradmcnamara.com

ABOUT FARMTECH SOCIETY

The Farm Tech Society (FTS) is an international non-profit industry association that unites and supports the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry, seeking to strengthen the sector through the development and implementation of resilient and future proof methods and technologies for indoor growing.   Board Chair Ian Kanski is also  He is the Director of the Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.   In addition, he  is co-founder of INTAG, a developer of biological technologies for nutrient recycling, waste and water remediation in the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) sector.  www.farmtechsociety.org

Autogrow and Agritecture Consulting Release 2nd Annual CEA Census Report

Global CEA Census ReportAutogrow and Agritecture Consulting have released the 2nd Annual CEA Census Report highlighting positive signs of growth despite the global pandemic.

Data captured over an 8-week period show 95% of growers have an optimistic outlook for the next 12 months with all types of operations including greenhouses, shipping containers, tunnel and vertical farms showing profitability.

 “The optimism reflects what we have seen across many areas of the industry including increased technology adoption and increased consumer expenditure on fresh produce. And despite the challenges we’re seeing an overwhelming number of new entrants into the market,” says Autogrow CEO Darryn Keiller.

 “What has not changed is the high percentage of new growers, almost 50%, that have no experience in agriculture before starting their business. That lack of experience has an impact on new technology solutions created and the need for more education to be available to support them. It also shows a real desire to make a difference considering their willingness to start during a pandemic.”

 Respondents from 58 countries shared their views on their farming practices, financials, and the impact of COVID-19.  The report also gave insight on three key growth regions around the world – India, the UK and MENA (Middle East & North Africa).

 “The results of the 2020 Census confirmed our hypothesis that the UK, India, and MENA regions are the emerging hotspots for CEA, albeit for different reasons. In the UK, Brexit is driving investment towards CEA to combat supply chain risks, while in India rising population and increased premium consumer demand for clean food are driving CEA. In the MENA region, government responses to COVID-19 have accelerated policies and incentives for developing scalable CEA solutions,” explains Agritecture Consulting Founder Henry Gordon-Smith.

 “All of these regions present great opportunities for the CEA industry to grow and make a meaningful impact on their respective local conditions.”

 Other takeaways from the Census:

·       CEA businesses showing optimism and resilience despite the COVID hurdles

·       88% of growers surveyed are below age 50

·       29% of respondents receive funding from multiple sources

GET 2020 CEA GLOBAL CENSUS REPORT

About Autogrow

Autogrow leverages the power of technology, data science and plant biology to provide indoor growers affordable, accessible and easy-to-use innovation – 24/7, anywhere in the world.

Our solutions support growers and resellers in over 40 countries producing over 100 different crop types.

We are the experts in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and continue to stay ahead of a rapidly evolving landscape.

 About Agritecture Consulting

Agritecture Consulting provides a comprehensive approach to CEA project development.

In operation since 2014, Agritecture has helped more than eighty organizations determine the feasibility of their ideas, validate their business strategies, recruit talent for their projects, and manage operational challenges.

Our job is to jumpstart your knowledge of CEA, help you navigate barriers to entry, make industry connections, and mitigate risk. Our consulting services are backed by several years of operations data and a team of experienced growers, engineers, and sustainability managers.

Hoogendoorn Introduces IIVO

Indoor Ag-Con Exhibitor News From Hoogendoorn Growth ManagementIndoor Ag-Con Exhibitor News Hoogendoorn: October 8, 2020, Hoogendoorn Growth Management organized an exclusive launch event to launch its biggest innovation yet: IIVO. Not just a new all-in-one process computer, IIVO is a next level climate computer.

Complexity made easy

IIVO provides smart technology for greenhouse growers. A combination of smart software and state of the art hardware. This truly unique system is capable of monitoring, controlling and maintaining any greenhouse. Allowing you to grow more, at higher quality while using minimal resources. Not only is the system highly effective, it is also extremely efficient and sustainable, generating maximum results. Whether you were born in a greenhouse, or never been in one. With self-learning controls and integrated security, it is undoubtedly the future of horticulture, and the first step towards automated growing.

Effortless growth

IIVO constantly and consistently monitors every aspect of your greenhouse environment, including climate conditions, irrigation and energy management. But the system is capable of so much more. The system collects and archives data to create a complete and holistic overview of the conditions inside your greenhouse. IIVO can then be used as an advanced control computer to determine the specific needs of your crop at any given moment.

Crop-specific approach

At the core of IIVO are the principles of Plant Empowerment: a unique cultivation method combining plant physiology and physics. An optimal balance of energy, water and assimilates creates stronger, healthier crops that are less susceptible to pests and diseases. A crop-specific approach that gives every crop exactly what it needs.

Data Driven Growing

IIVO is designed to allow the further implementation of Data Driven Growing. Combining powerful algorithms, data from the growing environment and plant physiology, allowing you to make the best decisions for your plants. The continuous flow of data collected during cultivation generates real-time insights into the conditions within your greenhouse and the health of your plants. Insights that can be used to power artificial intelligence and machine learning to grow ever smarter over time.

Driven by innovation

As soon as IIVO is operational, millions of lines of code are put to work generating crop-specific insights. The software is built from scratch, by Hoogendoorn. No legacy coding, no workarounds. IIVO is shining a new light on the true potential of growing crops in controlled growing environments. The best technology, in a revolutionary, future ready system.

Ready, Set, Grow.

For more Indoor Ag-Con Exhibitor News Hoogendoorn, visit the company website. 

Argus: Automated Irrigation Techniques

Argus Indoor Ag-Con Exhibitor News:

Argus Controls Seeding Knowledge video discusses irrigation techniques and the advantages of automating this process.  In the video Jeff Neff, Senior Applications Technician at Argus Controls, discusses considerations that can be important when deciding which system to choose.  He also covers advantages of automating this process.  Other topics include key considerations for implementing automated irrigation by using irrigation solutions for controls systems for horticulture, including greenhouse control systems and indoor control systems.

 

Irrigation is a necessary process for plant growth. While it can be done manually, automating this process could bring several benefits to growers. As with all types of automation, there are options to choose from, especially while using controlled environmental systems.

Computerized Control System for Horticulture

A fully computerized control system for horticulture incorporates all features of the simpler systems. It also adds support for a much wider range of input sensors, crop water use models. And,  most importantly, efficient irrigation system capacity management. Another approach, before considering a fully computerized controls system, consists of relying on sensors alone. This may not be the best method as they can, on occasion, fail. However, if they are combined with a modeling system, the result is optimal.

Another reason to use an automated system is the ability to include fertigation automation, which a simple solution normally cannot offer. One of the benefits of using an automated system is that it saves on labor costs by eliminating the need for employees to constantly monitor and water plants.

In addition to labor costs, hand watering could also affect the quality of the product. Using an automated system improves how production is controlled.

Using an automated system improves how production is controlled. On the other hand, there are certain applications where automated irrigation is not beneficial, such as in conservatories where there is a variety of plants, each with their own needs.

Factors To Consider

Automating irrigation in a horticultural facility is not an easy task. There are a number of factors to consider when planning and designing your irrigation or fertigation solution. Automating irrigation in a horticultural facility is not an easy task. There are a number of factors to consider when planning and designing your irrigation or fertigation solution.

Argus Controls has developed its own nutrient injection system that can provide anything from a single-tank formulation to many separate fertilizer recipes and feed strengths on the same irrigation system. This is all handled seamlessly by the Argus fertigation management software. Continuous improvement and development of solutions for the horticultural industry are a key and the future of irrigation controls promises more intricate, smarter systems with more sensitive sensors. This nutrient system has proven to be quite successful in diverse horticultural facilities, including when using Cannabis control systems.

For more Argus Indoor Ag-Con exhibitor news, check this site again soon or visit www.arguscontrols.com 

Hydroponic Seedling Propagation | 5 Tips For Success

Hydroponic Seedling Propagation Indoor Ag-Conversations“The only way to achieve high quality, uniform crops is to start with high quality, uniform seedlings,” said Joe Swartz, vice president, AmHydro. As  moderator of the “Hydroponic Seedling Propagation” Indoor Ag-Conversations webinar hosted by Indoor Ag-Con summer, Joe and panelists John Jackson, SIGS, Nick Green, Nick Greens Grow Team  and Dr. Vijay Rapaka, Smithers-Oasis, took a deep  dive into the topic, sharing a wide range of tips and innovations with the audience.

During the program, Dr.  Rapaka, Ph.D., Corporate Research Manager, Smithers-Oasis,  zeroed in on 5 critical tips for propagation success — regardless of the type of growing system you’re using:

#1. LIGHT

We know light is important for photosynthesis. It is also key for photomorphogenesis (the development of form and structure in plants which is affected by light).  Once the seed cracks, he says, you need to focus on proper light intensity and light duration. You cannot ignore one or the other.  Otherwise you will end up with a number of issues. These can range from elongation to yellowing leaves suffering from lack of chlorophyll development.

#2. WATERING

Frequency and duration are key, says Rapaka, whether you are running a multi-million-dollar facility controlled with a Priva system or a smaller operation using a Rainbird control system. Since most of us are growing crops like leafy greens and tomato seedlings rather than rice, you only need to water once a day or every other day. You do not have to bombard or flood your plants multiple times a day. The plant quality suffers because the roots can get excess water, which is not good for seedling growth.

#3. NUTRIENTS

To be clear, Rapaka is separating watering from nutrients.  He disagrees with old hydroponics textbooks that suggest nutrients are not required until day 3 or 4.  When growing crops in controlled environments where, for example, you’re providing light and CO2, if you do not have the right nutrients, you’re headed for trouble.  You do not have to put the plants on a restricted diet he says, using human gluten free diets as an example. But, as soon as the seed cracks, he adds, it needs to see nutrients. Regardless of the media you’re using, make sure you are treating with nutrients starting with the very first watering.

#4. PROPAGATION

Sometimes people think if they’re planting really high density, they can go with a smaller footprint or smaller plug size to save a few cents.  Rapaka explains that you will lose dollars in the long run here because once  leaves start emerging, there should be no shading effect.  If there is, propagation quality suffers.

#5. TIMING

Turns out, timing is, indeed, everything.  You have to do the right things at the right time, Rapaka explains.  It’s wonderful to grow beautiful, quality seedlings, but it’s critical to transplant them at the right time.  If plants get overcrowded or rootbound, you have a transplant delay. Whatever  quality you are achieving at the young plant stage will not be transferred once you transplant.

During his presentation, Rapaka also shared updates about Fortify, Smithers-Oasis’ new liquid nutrient supplement, designed to optimize the growth performance and increase harvest weights while reducing production time by up to 20%.

In short, said Rapaka, hydroponic production is sexy, propagation is not … and it is often neglected.  Everything starts with propagation.  You’ve got to start strong to end strong, he adds.

The entire webinar, as well as many others in our new Indoor Ag-Conversations series, are available on demand. Simply visit our Indoor Ag-Conversations page to access the recording.

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