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Digital innovation in greenhouses: successful agriculture

Technology is revolutionizing the greenhouse cultivation system, improving management.
Important goals:

  • reduce consumption and save money,
  • produce more and faster,
  • improve food quality and safety,
  • environmental sustainability.

1 – control of the microclimate and environmental parameters

In the greenhouse, the microclimate allows you to produce vegetables or seasonal fruits at any time of the year, but for this to happen it is essential to maintain the ideal conditions for plant growth.
The technology provides wireless sensors that can accurately, continuously and in real time detect values such as temperature, humidity and brightness.

A reliable monitoring of the environment makes it possible to intervene promptly in case of need with the most appropriate decisions. In the case of adopting the IoT (Internet of Things) technology, you can automate operations such as opening or closing windows.

IoT systems (Internet of Things) are increasingly widespread in agriculture and represent the transition from precision farming to digital farming. With IoT (Internet of Things), in fact, the data is not only detected, also processed in order to trigger automatic actions (irrigation) or make predictions (probable development of fungal infections).

The importance of IoT (Internet of Things) is recognized by Europe, which has provided measures and funding to promote its adoption in all sectors, including agriculture. In Italy, the Regions support innovation through projects and “tax incentives”.

2 – irrigation or fertigation

You can irrigate only when needed and in the necessary quantity to significantly reduce the consumption of water: in the latest generation hydroponic greenhouses, also called Vertical Farms (greenhouses on several floors built near large population centers, from the United States to Japan), was calculated that you can save up to 90-97% of water.

This great result is partly due to the recirculation system supplied in the hydroponics, and partly to the targeted use of the resource. Thanks to wireless sensors, irrigation can be programmed on the real needs of the plant.

Not only. Fertilizer dosing can be precisely calibrated with specific sensors and software. In hydroponic greenhouses (without soil), the nutrients that are usually found in the soil are supplied to the plant together with water. Sensors measure the vigor of the seedling. The data can be processed by software that combine it with the information about growth phase. What is obtained is the information necessary to plan fertigation in the best possible way, identifying the optimal frequency and dosages. Precision in dispensing nutrients leads to faster, more abundant production and, due to the controlled environment outside the soil, even healthy.

In the case of traditional greenhouses, soil moisture wireless sensors are reliable tools to know the water needs of the crop.

3 – lighting

Climate, latitude and seasons influence the amount and degree of brightness of sunlight. This is the reason why the technology produced LED lamp.

The LED lamp provides the plants with blue and red light, activating photosynthesis. The wavelength of light contributes to the determination of the taste and appearance of the fruit. In vertical greenhouses, the use of LED lamps increases production cycles, guaranteeing the “best light” every day.





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