Three platform features that can be beneficial during winter time
November 25, 2020
As a grower you want to keep up with all the factors that can influence the climate in your greenhouse. There are multiple features within the 30MHz platform that can help you visualize valuable information during the winter. We’ve listed three features that can help you in the colder months.
The days are getting darker and temperatures fall. Of course the weather is a key factor in your greenhouse and you want to know precisely which temperatures you can expect. That’s why we’ve built a weather forecast on our platform, so you can get detailed predictions on the expected rain in millimeters, the wind speed, global radiation and many more factors.
The weather data can be specific for a certain location. This is based on coordinates that you provided as a user of the 30MHz platform. You can add a virtual weather station for every location in your network.
It’s also possible to check weather data of periods in the past. The data can be traced back to the moment that your virtual weather station was created.
If you would like to monitor certain weather circumstances with extra caution, it’s advisable use an alarm. An example: if you’d like to know when the temperature drops below the freezing point, you instantly can get a text message or an email via the platform. This way you can act fast and with more accuracy.
For some companies it’s important to keep track of how much light the crops are getting during the darker months. Sometimes it’s necessary to put in some extra hours of artificial light. How do you monitor this data?
Of course you need a PAR sensor. This device monitors the strength of natural light and can be used to measure PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) in agricultural environments. In the 30MHz platform you can visualize the data collected by this sensor.
Cultivation specialist Leo van Uffelen uses PAR data on a daily basis and made some nice visualizations in his dashboards: “It is important to have a weekly dashboard that visualizes the data per day, as a day can never be the same. This can be visualized with a bar chart. If the weather is changing and for example the light intensity decreases, you can decide to change your screening strategy.”
As the name suggests, the Chill Unit widget can be very useful in winter time. Chill Units (CU) are generally used for fruit bearing trees and flower bulbs. Fruit-bearing trees need a period of cold weather after which a fruit-bearing tree will blossom in spring. Flower bulbs need a certain period of cold to sprout or bloom as well.
So to use of the CU widget is ideal for companies that grow fruit or flower bulbs. You can see the feature as an option in the Growing Degrees & Chill Hours application.
CU represents the time of exposure to cold temperatures. To calculate the CU you need to insert a threshold value. For example: if you set the threshold on 10 °C, the feature adds up all the hours below the threshold. Did the fruit trees spend enough time in the cold temperatures? Then you will receive a notification and you know exactly when the flowers are ready to sprout.
Andreas Lypas works as a cultivation manager at Castleton Fruit and he keeps track of the CU while growing strawberries and raspberries. He says the CU widget is a complement to his work: “With no extra effort, all the data appears in my dashboard. With these data, I can precisely analyse next year’s crop of soft fruits and stay focused on other job tasks. I can still evaluate the data and have a global perception of winter temperatures.”
Need some extra information? In this video our product owner Mirjam Bekker tells you all about the widget en how you can use it:
How can we help you digitise your cultivation process?
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