In the beginning of 2022, Dutch tomato grower, Agro Care, expressed its desire to expand to a 1,000-hectare greenhouse by 2030. This Dutch company, which turned 25 last year, is distinct in this ambition. Just as is its 261-hectare acreage spread over four countries.
At the Wagenpad 11 site in Middenmeer, site manager Paul Grootscholten manages 6 blocks of 9 hectares of greenhouse. Source Track has been helping him to do so.
Getting better result using less energy
Source.ag's system introduction coincided with energy prices starting to climb rapidly. Paul: "We're forced to farm more energy-efficiently. The Source Track dashboard supports us in this. In the end, you want the same, or an even better, result using less energy. More economical cultivation shouldn’t mean fewer kilos or a lower quality. Growers often still farm on instinct. You hear, 'it doesn't feel good in the greenhouse.' But that feeling means nothing. We've learned that since Source.ag has been helping us."
"Past winter, we limited our pipe temperature to a maximum of 45℃ and have run days at 17℃. A year ago, everyone would have thought we were crazy. We've started irrigating more discerningly. That's especially important since we switched the lights off more often this winter. Logically, when the lamps are off, there's less evaporation, but with this dashboard, everyone can now see this quickly and clearly. The Source Track dashboard is a huge mirror held up to you as a grower," Paul says expressively and then laughs heartily. "If you see a pimple, squeeze it."
I like the challenge of ensuring everything on the Source Track dashboard is showing green.
- Paul Grootscholten
The grower receives daily feedback on the most important parameters in the greenhouse. When the measured results correspond to his optimal strategy, the tile turns green. In this way, the grower knows exactly what needs to be adjusted.
"I like the challenge of ensuring everything on the Source Track dashboard is showing green." The branch director says everyone in Agro Care has a favorite part of the system. Paul likes to have an expansive overview.
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