Promoting Healthy Plant Growth While Minimizing Waste
Nutrient deficiency in plants can trickle down quickly to your bottom line, resulting in lost crops, lower yields, and wasted resources. You know that nutrient dosing starts with water—and if your water isn't prime for your grow operation, all the nutrient dosing in the world won't be able to produce high-quality yields. However, ensuring the right nutrients are delivered at the right time can make or break your grow operation.
Of the countless variables that go into running a successful indoor growing operation, installing the right lighting is one of the more crucial. Even if you have the most advanced greenhouse control system or the best fertilizer, if this one variable is off, your plants won’t be able to reach their maximum growth potential.
The ultimate goal for controlled environments? Higher, faster, more easily repeatable yields. One 25,000-square meter Japanese indoor farm produces 10,000 heads of lettuce per day, which is an impressive 100 times more per square foot than traditional, outdoor farming methods. This yield is accomplished with 40 percent less energy, 80 percent less food waste, and a mind-blowing 99 percent less water than traditional, outdoor agriculture. According to USDA data, the average yield for conventionally grown tomatoes in 2016 was 1.85 pounds per square foot, while greenhouse tomato growers saw yields of 10.59 pounds per square foot.
Ag-tech tools deliver solutions for farmers to some of the most common, persistent growing issues. Smart sensors, monitors, and automated tools work together to optimize greenhouse or indoor farming environments while minimizing the time and effort spent managing these growing variables.
The development of reliable plastic systems, paired with smart sensors and monitors, offers a significant opportunity for growers to enhance traditional drip delivery and go beyond wasteful, imprecise watering methods.
Properly managed temperature and humidity are key factors in helping plants to thrive in a greenhouse setting. In the absence of proper controls, however, these same factors can undermine plant health and erode yield.
By 2020, the United States greenhouse industry is expected to grow to $4 billion thanks to the demand for more indoor production. The demand is driven by limited labor, land, and water, as well as the need to produce more for less, which means operating costs are on the top of growers’ minds.
Greenhouse cultivation of cannabis is “a dramatically different growing paradigm,” experts say. In a traditional outdoor grow, the farmer has little control over key environmental factors. In a greenhouse, environmental conditions can be more finely managed, which gives the grower an edge. But this self-contained environment also requires more attention in order to ensure that all the main elements are in proper balance.