Automation is essential to indoor farming systems to ensure all crops receive the proper light, water, and nutrients. Automating lighting, fertilization, and irrigation is a sensible and practical solution to managing your indoor growing operation.
What is indoor farming automation?
Often associated with "smart farming," indoor farm automation is the technology that makes farms more efficient, and often more profitable. In simple terms, indoor farming automation automates specific critical tasks required to grow plants indoors. It may include lighting, venting, irrigation, or fertigation, which combines irrigation with fertilization. But that's just the beginning; before you can automate, you have to control and monitor many aspects of your grow operation.
Getting the most out of your farm automation.
There are many options when considering how to automate your indoor farm. These automated systems typically work with a controller that connects sensors that collect crop-level data. By monitoring the environment with sensors, you can more precisely feed, irrigate, or vent your indoor facility in specific regions based on the data collected by the sensors.
The higher-quality, reliable systems have connected operating systems that collect data, control devices, and provide critical insights. Typically these systems come with a mobile phone app so you can control your systems 24/7 from wherever you are.
This is really a revolution in agriculture, creating self-regulating, micro-climates ideal for plant growth through the use of monitoring with sensors, actuators, and control systems that optimize growth conditions and allow you to automate the growing process. It saves valuable resources like water and fertilizers while reducing labor and energy costs. Most of these systems require a hefty upfront investment that deters plenty of farmers from embracing automation technology. It'll also require a significant amount of planning and time to install and maintain. However, the vast majority of those who have invested in indoor farming automation agree that it's worth the time and money.
What the experts have to say.
Harvest HOC is one of the largest cannabis growers in the U.S. with growing operations in nine states and expanding into new markets. During the company's latest expansion, Head of Cultivation Gregory Zuckert, an expert in his own right with over 24 years of experience, began researching automation companies and found Growlink. "The Growlink system allows us to streamline the growing environment. They have created a user-friendly interface which allows us to control all of our growing environments from anywhere - extremely helpful for inputting data and increasing productivity."
Do your own research and find a reliable, dependable company that provides customer support. The systems are complex and require technical expertise during the installation process, so having a professional by your side will ensure you get the most out of your indoor farming automation equipment.