Unlocking the yield potential of indoor crops
Science and technology have made a big difference in how many of today’s farmers go about improving crop yields and making their farmland more profitable.
Most existing technologies help farmers by providing data on growing conditions such as light, moisture, pH, air temperature and humidity. Bloom, a Toronto-based software company and subsidiary of Normative Inc., is focused on extracting data about the crop itself.
“In the ecosystem of farming sensors and IoT devices, this is the only one that continuously scans the entire crop,” says Jon Tirmandi, COO of Normative Inc.
“A sensor technology, it tell farmers how the crop is responding to its growing environment and, combined with other available information about growing conditions, allows them to optimize yields or reduce losses.”
Bloom relies on powerful computer vision applications attached to thermal imagers whose algorithm analyzes millions of data points at a time, then processes and delivers them to farmers in a form they can use to improve production. Measuring how moisture is processed by the plant and the rate of photosynthesis in crops, Bloom offers coveted information unlocking the yield potential of indoor crops, allowing farmers to grow more with less.
Through its participation in ENCQOR 5G and the promise of 5G’s low-latency, high-bandwidth connection, Bloom aims to remove expensive error prone hardware and accelerate research that will help lower the cost of hardware components, making its product more accessible to farmers.
“We are very excited about being able to offer a product to any grower or technology provider of indoor agriculture that gives them the ability to receive continuous feedback on their crop,” says Tirmandi. “This data helps to ensure that the growing environment for plants is always optimal. While farmers are the immediate beneficiaries of our product, the consumer benefits from a higher quality product as well.”
Bloom is in its first round of commercial piloting. Lab-scale testing and commercial R&D tests have been completed and the technology is now entering a pilot roll-out to scale the platform, develop new features and integrate it with more technology partners.