Growers utilise BumperCrop to guide their irrigation strategy
Studies show that effective root zone management can lead to up to a 10% increase in yield and improvement in fruit quality. Because of this, the adoption of smart technologies like real time substrate monitoring and alerting is expected to double in the next five years. Adoption is being led by Europe, especially the Netherlands. Historically the Dutch have been fast adopters of new technology which has made them world leaders in greenhouse production. New Zealand growers aren't waiting to start benefiting from these new technologies. South Auckland cucumber grower Edward Lee actively seeks out new technology that helps him to run a more efficient and productive greenhouse. “To survive in this industry, you need to be as precise as possible.” His approach is paying off as his business continues to thrive.
Edward’s latest technology addition is BumperCrop’s real-time substrate monitoring and alerting solution. “Knowing the WC & EC trends of my slabs allows me to irrigate precisely and achieve stable levels. More accuracy translates to greater yield and earning more from my crop”.
Automated text-alerts remind Edward to keep his EC levels stable. Over the last two months he has received several high EC alerts that prompted him to act quickly to keep his rootzone in balance and prevent problems with his crop. “I need to provide just the right amount of EC to prevent root stress”. Having timely information allows Edward to make decisions around when to stop and start irrigation as well as the frequency and length of irrigation.
Edward has found viewing WC & EC data and alert thresholds levels easy with BumperCrop. There is a handy Mobile App as well as a user-friendly website to view current substrate readings in relation to threshold targets. “I like being able to get readings on my phone wherever I am. This gives me confidence that my greenhouse is operating smoothly even when I am not there.”
WC, EC & Temperature Sensors installed in rockwool substrate at Edward’s Cucumber Greenhouse
Alerts can also be setup to guide growers to achieve consistent substrate water content levels. Consistency increases yield and these alerts can also be used to help with detecting unexpected and costly issues such as clogged emitters or a malfunctioning irrigation system. "Being aware of and adapting to changes in WC & EC has been particularly critical over the past few past weeks as changes in the weather and daylight savings influence crops. "
Grant Fannin is another cucumber grower benefiting from smart substrate monitoring. “I check my substrate trends regularly to ensure they are staying within optimal zone. I’ve found the sensor data to be very reliable.” Grant finds it to be more precise than weigh scales. “I can see how my WC trends change over time as the plant grows and this is not distorted by other factors like the weight of the plant".
Grant accesses the data transmitted by BumperCrop from his phone.
BumperCrop sensors are designed to work in different media including rock-wool and coco fibre substrates. BumperCrop is a New Zealand based company that offers affordable smart greenhouse monitoring solutions.
Bumper crop is offering a free 21-day trial of their system to Grower2Grower readers.
For more information contact Adam Forbes:
Ph: 027 3512 512