Mapping Greenhouse Microclimates and Pest Hot Spots

Allison Christensen

Data Science Co-Op

Ecoation




Maintaining a consistent climate is essential for reliable production in a greenhouse operation. Through the OKO platform, growers are now able to quantify the variability on a per post level as they move the mobile cart throughout the greenhouse. In addition, within the warm, humid conditions of the greenhouse, pests can thrive with the abundance of food. Through post level analysis of the climate, we are better able to examine the relationship between pests and climate.

The OKO platform records temperature, CO2, light, and humidity as a function of the row and post location during regular scouting. Figure 1 above represents humidity data over a month. The map shows that on average, this greenhouse has higher humidity near the walls compared to the walkway. Armed with this knowledge, a grower can correlate the spatial variability with observations on yield and pest pressure over a growing season.

Similarly, we are able to view pest pressure throughout this greenhouse (See Figure 2). The pressure level in this plot is based on scouting results recorded in real time and geolocated with the OKO platform.


If we compare the humidity pattern to the pressure map, the areas of high humidity occur most often in the same areas as low pest pressure. By highlighting this information, a grower may adjust their climate parameters and physical infrastructure to maintain a higher humidity in regions that have consistently low humidity and higher pest pressure. As an example, adjustments may be made to individual fan speeds or an additional overhead mister might be installed. A single sensor in the greenhouse does not reveal microclimates that can affect crop uniformity.

While these observations do not prove causality, they do demonstrate a quantitative picture of the relationship between climate and pest pressures to assist in long term climate control. Investigating climate from a high-fidelity spatial perspective, it is possible to make a strong link between greenhouse climate and IPM strategies. Controlling localized outbreaks of pests requires knowledge of the background conditions that originally permitted the outbreak. For now, this type of analysis allows Ecoation to explore new paths to precision cultivation through a long term view of post level climate trends.




Allison Christensen

Data Science Co-Op

Ecoation

© Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. 2020

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