Dutch Groenten & Fruit Magazine and GFactueel.nl published an interview with Ronald Hoek in mid-January about the entry of AI into greenhouse horticulture. “Without digitalization, greenhouse horticulture will be inhibited in its growth. Digitalization and the availability of data are creating opportunities to increasingly optimize business results in all kinds of areas. As a greenhouse horticulture company, you are becoming smarter and smarter. We are only at the beginning of what is possible with data and digitization,” says Ronald.
Summary article (3 pages)
In five or ten years, systems will be even smarter and less and less dependent on human input, because they will be able to optimize more and more themselves. In the near future, robotization will also make it possible to perform crop operations and advanced measurements. Cameras and algorithms will assess the state of the crop. We are only at the beginning of what is all possible with data and digitalization.”
What is the role of the grower in autonomous growing?
“The grower remains important in this digitalization but the work will be less operational and more strategic. A grower no longer has to adjust his climate computer six times a day. AI will do all the operational work, the way the grower wants it to. The effect is that the results in terms of quality and production will also improve.
The grower determines the crop strategy and Crop Controller realizes this by continuously giving direction to the plants via the climate computer, 24 hours a day. Crop Controller is getting smarter and can process much more data than a human. If a problem is detected, for example due to an abnormal plant development or weather forecast, our system calculates a different route to still arrive at the right point.”
AI combined with human support
“We believe in the combination of AI with human support. That’s why we combine Crop Controller, with the support of an Autonomous Greenhouse Manager. The Autonomous Greenhouse Manager helps the grower get started with autonomous growing, monitors the situation in the greenhouse and is there to discuss ideas and improvements with the grower. He understands the situation at the location. This way, the grower can really let go,” says Ronald.
Why do growers start with autonomous growing?
Ronald explains more about the reasons why greenhouse horticulture companies opt for autonomous growing. Expansion plans, the desire to improve operating results and reducing dependence on the growers’ knowledge are the most frequently cited arguments. He also tells in which countries Blue Radix is active and how he sees the future of Blue Radix.
Read the whole article on GF actueel
Do you have a login for the website of GF Actueel? Then you can read the entire article below. (Dutch only)
Text and photography: Harry Stijger