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A blog by Rudolf de Vetten, Chief Product Officer at Blue Radix.

Growers need lots of knowledge and experience to keep their cultivation at a high level, and to keep improving it. They need that knowledge and experience to ‘read the plant’, but certainly also to set the climate computer. Using the software takes specific training. How do I set my setpoints? Which influences do I need to have? What should I do for changing weather conditions?

Not only is this highly knowledge-intensive, but it’s also very time-consuming. Even the best growers admit that, despite all their experience, they simply can’t process all the connections and data points needed to make the necessary adjustments, with any high frequency. At the same time the software offers so many possibilities that they can never all be used to their fullest.

But the question is: does it make sense for experienced growers to spend their valuable time on all these settings?

Time for a whole new approach! Autonomous growing heralds an important change, a change that goes right to the heart of the daily working methods. Growers who start using autonomous control will notice that this change happens surprisingly fast. Instead of continuously adjusting setpoints and influences, their time and attention shifts to the actual crop strategy.

When growers can define the crop strategy properly, they can let the algorithms do the implementing. Algorithms are far better than humans in their ability to process huge volumes of data continuously, while always determining the optimum for light, temperature, humidity and CO2, 24/7. And they calculate the best setpoints to achieve the grower’s unique crop strategy.

This signals a major change in the grower’s work. And it takes some getting used to! After all, trust must be built in the algorithms. So not only is autonomous growing the application of new technology, but it’s also an adjustment to the overall working method. Fortunately you get used to it faster than many people might think. And it’s worth it, because shifting the focus to increasing the quality of the crop strategy means being able to devote more attention to creativity and innovation.

Blue Radix guides growers intensively in this process with a Crop Advisor and an Autonomous Greenhouse Manager: to autonomous growing in just six steps, where trust is the foundation. Are you ready for it?