Great Northern – Conversion from tomatoes to strawberries with IIVO
NewsSuccess storyApril 26, 2022
Success storyAugust 24, 2021
JEM Farms is a third generation greenhouse produce farm located in Ruthven/Kingsville Ontario, Canada. Currently they are growing cucumbers, mini cucumbers, tomato, organic grape tomato and beefsteak on 40 acres of greenhouse. They expect to expand their greenhouse and have 49 acres by Fall of 2021. In the future they also hope to construct a two acres research and development facility where they will be doing different trials from seed varieties to LED lightning in greenhouses. They are already working together with the students of the University of Windsor regarding their lighting energy consumption. JEM Farms strives to have a year-round crop in their greenhouses so they can be able to provide vegetables for local consumers.
For a number of years now the greenhouse of JEM Farms has been controlled with the iSii process computer of Hoogendoorn Growth Management. Since 2018, JEM Farms has also entered into an active collaboration with LetsGrow.com and their platform MyLetsGrow. Through a crop consultant, they were introduced to the possibilities of reading, visualizing and analyzing data in order to grow smarter. Analyzing their data from the current process computer enabled them to compare their crop growth with other locations and intelligently control the climate in the greenhouse. Currently, LetsGrow.com even helps JEM Farms with making an accurate yield prediction.
In 2021, the current iSii process computer will make way for Hoogendoorn’s latest innovation, IIVO. IIVO provides smart technology for greenhouse growers. The system is capable of monitoring, controlling and maintaining any type of greenhouse. In this case the data analyses of LetsGrow.com provides IIVO the ability to control the entire greenhouse in a modern and smart data driven way.
This combination of disciplines enables JEM Farms to take its first steps towards an autonomous greenhouse control. In this way JEM Farms can grow as smart and efficient as possible, but also in a sustainable way by reducing for example the use of water, energy, fertilizers integrated pest management were they are being trained for.
Jamie Mastronardi , owner of JEM Farms, and head grower Blake Fischer believes that data is the key to solving the puzzle of sustainable growing without sacrificing the production or quality of the crops. He explains: “The new IIVO system of Hoogendoorn Growth Management gives us complete detailed control over our greenhouses. Every parameter can be influenced by any other. This gives us the flexibility to achieve our goals of maximum production and high quality in the most sustainable way. With the precise and modern controlling through the IIVO and the comprehensive and optimal analyses of LetsGrow.com, we believe that we are more than ready for the future.
One of our partners in Canada, Gryphon Automation, worked in this process as the spider in the web between JEM Farms and the Hoogendoorn team in this region. Paul J and Jamie Mastronardi are very satisfied with this cooperation, he says; “the team of Hoogendoorn and Gryphon co-operate seamlessly to provide the solutions needed. It is almost like they know our needs before we can communicate them. Their attention to every detail allows us to walk in, flip the switch, and grow!”
The new IIVO will be installed at JEM Farms in the course of 2021. Of course we will then come back to them for an extensive review.
With the precise and modern controlling through the IIVO and the comprehensive and optimal analyses of LetsGrow.com, we believe that we are more than ready for the future.
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