Smart Greenhouse Projects & Case Studies
What are some of the results grow operations have seen from integrating smart sensors into their greenhouse operations?
South Mountain MicroFARM
Maryland, USA (7500 Sq ft Greenhouse)
Crop: Lettuce and Microgreens
Product supplier: LumiGrow LEDs
- Lettuce crop reached harvest size in 40-50 days, shaving up to 33% off the crop production cycle. This allows Levi to fit in more turns.
- Microgreens were ready to harvest 2-3 days earlier than his unlit microgreens and produced approximately 10% more material per tray.
- Experimented with allowing the heads of lettuce to grow for the full 55-60 days and found the lit lettuce was 40-60% heavier. (Restaurants buy lettuce by the tote, so heavier heads allowed them to hit the tote weight with fewer heads of lettuce)
Vermont, USA (11,000 Sq ft greenhouse)
Crop: Basil, Crisp Lettuce, Watercress
- 50% reduction in the yellowing on the bottom lettuce leaves because the lights penetrate down deeper into the canopy.
- Heavier and more consistent weights.
- Trimmed off between 3-10 days on harvest cycle.
- Product height decreased which resulted in smaller packaging and lower packaging costs.
- Could run LEDs at night during lower electricity rates where HPSs would cause neighbor complaints from light pollution.
Lower Shannon Farms
Crop: Tomatoes and Cucumbers
- Yield increase of 16-17% increase in his mini Dijon cucumbers and a 18-20% increase in his tomato crops’ yield
- “We’ve also easily added a month, 6 weeks of longevity to our [tomato] vines. Normally we’d take old vines out in February- we only started changing out first week of March.”
- leaves are about 20% bigger than they were under the 1000-watt HPS lights.
Smart LED Greenhouse Lighting
Looking for more information on how adding connected lighting to your greenhouse can impact yield?
Dutch Tomato Production
The Dutch are the #2 exporter of food globally (only behind the US) They are by far and away the leading exporter of tomatoes as well as potatoes and onions. More than a 1/3 of all vegetable seeds global trade comes from the Netherlands. (Source)
From 2003-2014 their vegetable production:
- Increased by 28%
- Energy use declined by 6%
- Pesticide use decreased 9%
- Fertilizer use declined by 29%
- Microclimate Prediction for Dynamic Greenhouse Climate Control
- Simulations showed that controlling greenhouse temperature according to the predicted crop temperature rather than according to the air temperature can save energy. Energy-saving is highest during winter and 12% energy saving was attained during January under Danish climate conditions.
- Analysis and design of greenhouse temperature control using adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system
- Smart frost control in greenhouses by neural networks models
- Evaluation of event-based irrigation system control scheme for tomato crops in greenhouses
Here is a list of companies using smart control technologies in their farm operations