New research project seeks to help greenhouse growers

New research project seeks to help greenhouse growers

Thanks to a $3.77 million USDA grant, The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is leading a research and development project to help greenhouse growers create the most ideal growing environment using real-time data and climate optimization processes.

CFAES will spearhead the four-year study with collaboration from Rutgers University, Cornell University, the University of Arizona, and Koidra, a company specializing in tools that help greenhouse and indoor growers manage crops using data and technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Chieri Kubota, a CFAES Professor of Horticulture and Crop Science, will lead the project with A.J. Both, a Professor of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University.

“This grant will help us pioneer controlled environment agriculture in the U.S.,” says Kubota, who is also the director of the Ohio Controlled Agriculture Center (OHCEAC). “Currently, domestic growers rely on technologies developed primarily in the Netherlands, which adheres to different design standards, measurement units, and government regulations, thus causing delays in the adaptation of new technologies in the U.S.”

The study aims to meet the following four objectives:

  • Develop a data- and model-driven decision-making platform.
  • Validate the efficacy of new data- and model-driven decision-making.
  • Understand the socioeconomics of greenhouse technology adaptation.
  • Engage stakeholders through professional learning opportunities for workforce development.

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