Improve plant quality
It appears that in the near future growers may automate irrigation using sensors to water plants efficiently and improve plant quality. The technology is currently available, and guidelines for its use are being developed. But, what’s next? In the future, we wish to gain a better grasp of how water use changes depending on the location of a crop in the greenhouse (for example, proximity to cooling pads or fans), the number of plants grown, and environmental factors. An exciting new development is that the newer 5TE probes can measure both substrate EC and water content. This may allow growers to control both irrigation and fertilization simultaneously.
Marc van Iersel is a professor in floriculture at the University of Georgia (email@example.com). For more information, please visit Marc van Iersel’s irrigation automation website: www.hortphys. uga.edu/irrigationcontrol.html
Stephanie Burnett is an assistant professor in floriculture at the University of Maine; firstname.lastname@example.org
We gratefully acknowledge the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation for funding our research.