With the greenhouse industry in Quebec growing rapidly as ever, there’s a pressing need for artificial intelligence (AI) in this day and age. Labour shortages and the need to make complex control situations easier and more autonomous, the challenges of self-sufficiency and the need to implement sustainable farming practices are just a few daily challenges, which are getting bigger and bigger.
A couple of months ago, Cytech Corbin opened their own demonstration greenhouse called Brillo. Although small in size, this high tech greenhouse includes artificial intelligence (AI). The company that is based in Quebec, Canada, has also recently become a partner of Hoogendoorn Growth Management. The opening of this greenhouse marks an important step in developing knowledge in the field of technologies like AI and will help address challenges we face today.
The greenhouse is equipped with a semi-closed ventilation system, is heated by electricity and solely runs on software of IIVO and LetsGrow.com. Part of the strategy of the Quebec province is working towards being more self-sufficient in terms of food. Cytech Corbin views themselves as one of the key companies focused on supplying greenhouse growers with the tools to grow sustainable high quality crops. Based on data, the IIVO together with LetsGrow.com is making control decisions for growers. In this way, growers can focus on their growing strategy, rather than day to day setpoint changes.
Denis Lavoie, a shareholder in Cytech Corbin, calls the greenhouse “the most technologically equipped greenhouse on the market today in Quebec” and “the best in terms of control, ventilation and automation”. Lavoie also indicates that the control system is state-of-the-art. “Ultimately, these greenhouses are going to operate completely autonomously. It will just have to do the mechanical work.” With growers seeing their crops double in the next few years, the results “are just incredible. It’s beyond what we thought”.
The concept of data-driven growing is a driving force behind this project. Together with the involvement of recognized partners in the field, this is the first step in meeting current needs and making life in the greenhouse easier for greenhouse growers. Cytech Corbin also expresses that they are inspired by the philosophy of “Plant Empowerment”, which will help the grower achieve productive, profitable and high quality crops, regardless of the size of the growers’ greenhouse.