Automation is obviously the wave of the future but with the exception of trimming equipment such as GreenBroz and Fertigator systems it seems that the Industry is still heavily dependent on Manuel Labor; especially for propagation and pest management. Is anyone using any systems or techniques to lighten the load on Man Hours?
Just wanted to follow this post to see what other automation needs are out there. We’re always looking for new ways to help.
Never heard of “Fertigator”… What does it do?
Hello Brendan. We are automation specialists at Bellpark Horticulture providing labor savings solutions through automation and robotics in the greenhouse industry. We are able to automate every stage of labor through automation from transplanting machines that can plant up to 36,000 plants per hour to robotic loading of plants onto tables. Please check out our website http://www.bellparkhorticulture.com/
Recently we became the north american distributor for Dryagir. Drygair is the most energy efficient line of greenhouse de-humidifiers. Please check out our Drygair page at http://www.bellparkhorticulture.com/product/drygair-greenhouse-dehumidifier/
An interesting piece of technology to keep you eyes on.
Small drone vehicles have many applications in agriculture from the application of aerial pesticides to multi-spectral image analysis. Whats interesting is to think about is the the augmentation of labor (increasing productivity) rather than the replacement of labor. While the cost of machine automation is still relatively high, many tools are in development today that will have considerable impact on almost every process in agriculture.
Definitely an interesting and impactful topic of discussion!
That’s incredible! Man, the applications of that for outdoor growing are impressive. No more wind catching all the pesticides from the crop duster.
Yeah its awesome.
There’s a legal Cannabis producer in Ontario Canada with some really progressive growing techniques. Much of it is proprietary so you won’t get the fine details but the extra time spent perfecting their growing methods is definitely reflected in the plant output at harvest time. Check them out! https://www.abcann.ca/
This is a good profile!
Automation isn’t only being used to lessen man-hours required for cultivation, but is being used to improve yields, quality, and for more precise growing techniques than previous control allowed.
One such instance of this is lighting manufacturer LumiGrow. We’re using a software control system and light sensors to greatly automate precision lighting strategies, while offering dynamic controls for spectrum, photoperiod, and intensity.
Any questions? Feel free to reach out!
A fertigator is also sometimes refereed to as the “Heart Beat of the Greenhouse”. Fertigators are versatile machines that bring precision nutrient and acid control to professional growers. They are used to mix the nutrients and acids to feed the plants. Additionally, an automated dosing feature allows growers to optimize growth without spending half the time measuring, mixing and dosing. Here is an example of one from FarmTek
There’s a company in Israel, called Seedo, who’s developed an automated cultivation machine. We haven’t tested it, but it’s consumer level and pretty interesting technology. The founder was just on the podcast that we sponsor, which is how we heard about it. I know it’s not really relevant to most the growers on here, but looks like an interesting idea. I guess it works for other plants too, like vegetables.
That does look like an interesting device that is fully automated. Would be curious to see how it works in practice!
Can you link an article to one of the light sensors or some more about the technology that your company is dealing with?
Our smart lighting technology consists of powerful LED hardware and cloud-based software as described here: https://www.lumigrow.com/technology/
If you’re interested in our sensor technology, you can check out our smartPAR Light Sensor Module here: smartPAR Light Sensor - Smart LED Grow Light Systems - LumiGrow
Questions, feel free to ask 'em!
When growers talk about automation they are probably taking about fertigation and climate controls. Bellpark’s potting system is what I think of when taking about automation.
While I am tooting my own horn; My comapany Crystal Clear Automation will be blowing the cannabis industry away. We are developing real robots and automation to perform every cultivation task. see fcebook.com/robgrow. We have a wirebot (ie. skycam) that is cheap, fast and smart. It uses vision feedback to and crries dirrent platform for seeding, cloning, plant health monitor, floir feeding, germicidal percision light applicatiom, application of fungicidal and pesticides (safe stuff like neem oil, soaps, garlic, etc), tranplanters, harvesters.
We have 3 large growers (8 grows, 5 grows, and a 5 acre grow) that have asked us to build post harvesting robots. Robots and automation do a lot more than lower labor cost. Robots limit access which reduces diversion and disease. We can move plants into climate control chambers heating and cooling less air volume, preventing pathogens access to plants as well.
We are using our wirebot to generate a 3D map of both PAR light measurements and spectral photon densities. We are measuring frequencies every 2nm. We are working on a light optimization system using genetic algorithms to alter all plant inputs an stresses like CO2, water and air temp, humidity, light ampiltude across the entire spectrum, etc. and measuring the plant response such as macine vision phenotype expression, IR photosynthesis florescence, non chemical photosynthesis quenching (chloroplast overload), transpiration, etc.
In this manner we are bring the light as close as possible to the canopy and feeding it optimally.
Most growers don’t optimize their roots. Air pruning tap roots after the first few days can increase your yields and short veg times. I don’t know any growers that do this. Air pruning bags only air prune after the roots are already grown.
Foliar feeding can greatly improve production. Iron and other mineral suppliments are better uptaken through the stomata than roots. Being able to continue foliar feeding after flower set without wetting the buds (ugh mold!) is just not possible without precision application.
We are apply AI to control the robots and enviornment.
We can do things not possible with humans.
Think about it who’s the best chess player? Watson. Who is the best Go player.? Watson.
We think we will soon be growing the best quality pot for under $20/lb.
WOW!!! It is incredible that you are developing robots with these capabilities. Honestly, I look forward to hopefully reading a topic about each of the paragraphs that you just wrote about. All of these are groundbreaking and can revolutionize the Agriculture Industry as a whole! Good luck and I look forward to reading more!
I’m looking for a grower partner to work with in adapting my wireless monitoring and control system product for viticulture to cannabis growing. I’ve been in business for 10 years supporting grape growers in the Napa Valley and was a grower myself. I have robust wireless technology and web based software to capture and present data from sensors in the grow. The web software also documents the grow layout, sends alerts and can be configured for closed loop wireless control.
I recognize that the sensors and control needed for a cannabis grow are very different from viticulture hence my search for a competent grower to partner with in developing a specialized version of my product taylored for cannabis growing. My company name is Camalie Networks LLC. I’m located in Palo Alto, Ca. I’m looking for a partner with a grow house within 50 miles of my location where a prototype system could be installed and field tested. If this opportunity sounds interesting to you, please contact me. [email protected].
Check out GeoShepard™. We automate the data entry into metrc during harvest.