UK greenhouse supplier Gardin has partnered with berry grower Boxford Farms to showcase its technology that helps commercial glasshouse growers monitor their crop's health, reduce variance across the farm and increase yield.
As part of their ongoing partnership, Gardin and Boxford Farms have collaborated to monitor the health of commercially grown strawberry plants using Gardin's technology, demonstrating its potential to drive performance improvements for glasshouse growers.
A key challenge for commercial glasshouse growers is microclimate variability within the same greenhouse zone, which leads to non-uniform distributions of temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, and irradiation. This heterogeneity creates problems for crop growth, production, and quality. Gardin's technology provides easy-to-read, actionable insights through measurements of photosynthetic performance, which are highly sensitive early indicators of stress, providing farmers with a way to monitor their crop's health in real-time.
The collaboration, conducted in partnership with award-winning British fruit farm Boxford Farms, involved the monitoring of the grower's strawberry plants in two areas of their commercial glasshouse – the historically best and worse yielding areas. Gardin's monitoring system detected immediate differences in plant health between the two areas, with the lower yield area seeing a continuous deterioration in health while the higher yield area maintained a steady health status.
"Our technology's ability to detect these differences in plant health and provide real-time insights to farmers is what sets it apart," said Dr. Steven Grundy, Senior Plant Scientist at Gardin. "The trial results show a promising positive correlation between the change in plant health and the yield of the strawberries, demonstrating the value of our technology in improving crop health and boosting yield."
Mike Marita, Boxford's Farm Manager, said: "We have noticed before that plants in certain areas of our glasshouse were getting stressed, but it was difficult to know exactly when or what was going wrong. The Gardin solution allows us to see a decline in health in real-time and well before it becomes visible. This, in turn, allows us to adjust our growth strategy and farm operations. The correlations between Gardin insights and yields were very promising, and we hope they will allow us to optimize performance next season."
A fruitful partnership
Gardin is delighted to continue its partnership with Boxford Farms into 2023, monitoring strawberries throughout their growing season. This partnership will help Boxford optimize farm performance and further demonstrate the company's commitment to improving crop health and yield for commercial glasshouse growers.