Plant growth analysis system: a new approach for greenhouse management and horticultural research

M. Dinar, R. Golovaty
Paskal Technologies Ltd. has developed a Plant Growth Analysis (PGA) system that enables the monitoring and analysis of the daily weight accumulation processes. The system weighs individual stems in the greenhouse using a weighing unit developed especially for this purpose. Data are transferred every 20 minutes by radio to the computer and then to the server for data processing using software that was developed especially for this purpose. The processed data are transferred to the grower via the internet website on the following day. Climate and irrigation data are collected from the grower's climate and irrigation control systems and presented with the growth data. Continuous weighing of the stem offers the unique advantage of quick identification of changes in the growth rate and in the plant's response to environmental conditions. By understanding the processes, the grower is able to identify and improve agro-technical activities. By placing weighing units at various locations throughout the greenhouse, the growth rates in the various sections can be compared and the variation in the greenhouse can be assessed. This information reveals locations with a low growth rate (hotspots), and enables the grower to achieve improvement during the growth season or between seasons. The system also poses important challenges for the climate control companies. The weighing unit is actually a new sensor that can be part of the greenhouse sensors system. The weighing process provides fast feedback on the growth rates in real time. The monitoring indicates that the plant responds quickly to environmental conditions; which in turn requires changes in the control approach.
Dinar, M. and Golovaty, R. 2017. Plant growth analysis system: a new approach for greenhouse management and horticultural research. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:745-752
daily growth, solar radiation, temperature, wind

Acta Horticulturae