Koidra joined hands with the Canada-based Great Lakes Greenhouse Inc. (GLG) to accelerate the yield of organic eggplant by 28.5% in 2022. Utilizing Koidra’s KoPilot Grow, GLG not only increased their yield significantly but also reduced the unit electricity cost.
GLG’s greenhouse operations aim to increase their production by 50% in the next five years. 180% more electricity is required due to the use of supplemental lighting, especially during the winter. Lighting eats up a huge chunk of the electricity used in greenhouses, sometimes over 90%. Fortunately, more than 10% of electricity can be saved if a system is well-designed for adjusting the lights based on outside conditions.
On the other hand, growers have another struggle in making different technologies work together. Various sensors are installed to gather a huge amount of data about crops and the greenhouse environment, including temperature and humidity. But obtaining the data isn’t enough, it needs to be analyzed to indicate patterns to help the growers make decisions, like when to adjust humidity or CO2 levels. It’s difficult to get analytical insights if data from different sensors are not unified.
Koidra’s Solutions for Autonomous Greenhouse
- DataPilot provides a centralized platform to integrate on-site systems and manage operational data on the cloud. This data was used to generate insightful dashboards for the growers. Then, the growers and greenhouse managers can make informed and better decisions for the crop by combining the data-driven approach with their accumulated knowledge which leads to greater yield and resource efficiency.
- KoPilot Grow takes greenhouse automation to the next level. Our AI expert system precisely mimicked an expert grower’s actions to automate the climate control system within the greenhouse. The system was rigorously tested and refined over a period of 4-month trial on cucumbers, ensuring it functioned consistently and efficiently even under extreme conditions.
Results & Benefits
We conducted the trial with eggplants spanning from April to October, 2022, comparing the growth of eggplants in two distinct areas: the KoPilot zone and the controlled zone by the growers. In the KoPilot zone, our autonomous growers controlled specific environmental variables including heating, CO2 level, and venting, with setpoints adjusted every 5 minutes for optimal conditions.
The KoPilot system led to a substantial increase in yield of 28.5%. Particularly, eggplants in the KoPilot zone yielded an impressive 21.5 kg/m2, compared to the 16.7 kg/m2 yield in the controlled zone, for the same amount of electricity. In addition, the unsellable eggplants were 10% lower compared to the controlled zone.
|Sellable eggplants (kg/m2)
The vital role of AI technology in sustainable food production
The successful cucumber trial at GLG’s facility brings forth several significant implications for the field of agriculture and greenhouse management. First and foremost, our project indicates the potential and feasibility in applying the latest AI technologies to optimize and automate the growing strategies in commercial greenhouses.
The consistent and smooth operation of our KoPilot underscores its readiness for real-world applications, promising increased yield and energy efficiency. The substantial yield increase of 19.6% for cucumbers, achieved with the improved energy efficiency, is a testament to the potential benefits of this technology.
In the broader context, these achievements hold promise for a more sustainable and efficient future in agriculture. The ability to optimize crop yields while minimizing energy consumption aligns with the global need for resource-efficient food production. The successful implementation of AI-driven solutions in greenhouse management sets a precedent for the adoption of cutting-edge technologies in agriculture, ultimately contributing to increased food security and environmental sustainability.
“Great Lakes has been working with Koidra over the last couple of years. Koidra has customized a solution that is specific to our system and conditions. Through precision greenhouse management, Great Lakes targets to achieve total efficiency and sustainability. We can rely on Koidra to accelerate timely delivery of business objectives, continuously producing healthy food, and to empower our shareholders. We recognize that Koidra’s technology is the agricultural adaptation for commercial greenhouse.”
— Mark Reimer, Research and Business Development Manager, Great Lakes Greenhouse Inc.
About Koidra Inc.
Koidra Inc. is an autonomous control company whose software aids growers in boosting yields, reducing resources, and promoting sustainable agriculture. The software works with all existing climate computers.
Koidra achieved consecutive wins in the prestigious Autonomous Greenhouse Challenges (AGC) by Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. Outperforming experienced cultivators, the company achieved unparalleled yields through its AI solutions.
Koidra has secured grants from esteemed bodies, including the USDA, for its innovative work. By integrating artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and expert insight, the company has developed advanced and robust tools. These tools empower growers and manufacturers to realize production and sustainability goals while minimizing costs.
About Great Lakes Greenhouse Inc.
Great Lakes Greenhouse Inc. (GLG) is a leading commercial greenhouse based in Leamington (Ontario, Canada) which has built its reputation on high-quality crop production. Today, it is one of the largest greenhouse operators in North America, especially in the growing of cucumbers and eggplants.
GLG owns the full circle of production from growing to packing and marketing its produce. It is committed to improving the greenhouse economy at scale, promoting sustainability, and actively seeking out relevant technological advancement.
As a trusted solution provider of intelligent automation, Koidra has enabled GLG to improve their crop production methods, delivering even greater value and quality to their customers.