Feasibility of an online crop monitor for lettuce on the basis of image processing
In the glasshouse horticulture the heating costs make a substantial part of the production costs, especially in crops such as lettuce. The decrease of the combustion temperature can have a positive impact on the energy bill, however the growth rate of lettuce may be delayed by this operation (which leads to longer production cycles and back to an increased energy consumption). To this end, the breeder gets no direct feedback of the growth rate of its product (lettuce). This project wants to develop an affordable management tool that allows the grower to get direct feedback of his actions and in this way make it possible to continiously follow up his crop.
By the broad adaptation of high-resolution cameras today in smartphones and tablets the cost of these high-quality cameras has substantially reduced and it is possible to integrate this in an affordable product. This product will consist of a camera that is suspended above the crop, in combination with a climate module to be developed that measures the environment variables radiation, temperature and relative humidity in the immediate vicinity.
On the basis of the camera images the soil covering degree of the conservatory cultivation of cabbage lettuce will be determined. The growth of the crop is modelled on the basis of time series of soil covering degree in function of the climate variables. This allows to determine continuously the status of the crop (to close the rows). The data collected by the sensors will be sent to a central server, this processes the images and shapes the growth of the crop. By means of a web-based interface it allows the user to follow the status of his crop.
Realisation of SME Plantguard (Wingene)
on horticultural farm of Stefaan Pyppe (Westrozebeke) & Rik Lancriet (Wingene)
Together with Inagro
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