Published on October 5th, 2009 | by Zachary Shahan7
Wireless Climate-monitoring System for Better & More Crops
Turkey farmers growing greenhouse tomatoes have been using this technology since 2005. California is going to get it before the end of this year.
LA-based ClimateMinder now completely owns the Turkish company Kodalfa and it is eager to bring some of its technology to the US. This company’s “new” climate-monitoring and control system helps greenhouse farmers to monitor their crops and adjust the conditions of their greenhouses with wireless technology. This helps farmers and consumers in numerous and significant ways.
Founder and chief executive of ClimateMinder, Bulut Ersavas, says: “The American market is looking for flexible technology solutions that either can stand on their own or complement existing greenhouse-control systems to address portability, micro-climates, local practices and backup for primary systems.” Looks like he has found something along those lines.
The system, GrowFlex, uses a sensor network that is battery or solar-powered. Generally, this network is in the greenhouse. However, the technology can be used by open-field farmers as well and the company is looking to introduce the technology into other markets as well.
The sensor network is connected to a “machine-to-machine-based (M2M) wireless network.” The M2M technology contains something used in cell phones — “black-box cellular modules” — which allows for wireless transmission of data back and forth. This doesn’t even require the intervention of humans. And, the bottom line: if the environmental conditions in the greenhouses change, farmers receive alerts and they know that they need to make some changes.
According to the company, this technology results in better productivity and better quality crops altogether, less time before the crops get to market, less water usage, and reduced usage of supplemental nutrients and pest control.
It looks like an overall win for both the producers and the consumers. We will see when it hits the ground and is used in California.
Image Credit 1: Anguskirk via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 2: World Bank Photo Collection via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 3: Bods via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 4: elventear via flickr under a Creative Commons license