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Plant Empowerment at the core of team AuTomatoes’ strategy: new algorithm development

An optimized growth climate is essential to optimize crop growth. According to the principles of Plant Empowerment, crop growth is determined by the three plant balances. Therefor the greenhouse climate needs to support the crop to keep it’s balances in balance at all times. Team AuTomatoes used the principles of Plant Empowerment in their growth strategy during the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge. They won the Challenge because they focused on the plant and it’s balances when developing their algorithms and solutions for growers.

So how did they do this?

According to Silke Hemming, Head Scientific Research of Team Greenhouse Technology at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), who is considered the driving force behind the competition, also indicated Plant Empowerment was a strong element in the strategy of team AuTomatoes. “Centering all actions around the plant, that is what growing a crop is about. When you find a balance between the growth factors your crop performs well. And up until today, a well performing plant has always brought more income then costs for the resources you put in.”

Various algorithms were developed to support the plant balances. For example the Irrigation Optimization algorithm that stops irrigation in time to reach the desired amount of dry-back after a certain amount of time. The AI model makes sure that the crop receives the optimal amount of water, while at the same time it avoids saturation of the slab during periods with little or no light, to maintain all beneficial parameters, such as oxygen and microorganisms.

Another example is the Ventilation Optimization Control algorithm that controls the vent positions according to the desired setpoints for temperature and humidity. In addition, the Temperature Optimization Control algorithm realizes the right balance between the light sum and average 24-hour temperature. Together these algorithms allowed the team to optimize the average temperature in their greenhouse, and therefore the crop’s usage of assimilates.

In addition to these algorithms team AuTomatoes also developed a new sensor, called the Light Penetration Ladder.This sensor measures the amount of light in the greenhouse at three levels: at the top, middle, and bottom of the crop. These measurements provide insights in the actual amount of light that is penetrating the canopy, and is received by the leaves on different levels in the crop. This can be used as the base for your leaf pruning strategy.

Do you want to know more about the Data Driven Growing strategy team AuTomatoes applied to win the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge? Subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram, and be the first to find out!

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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