Grodan kicked off the new growing season with the release of its updated e-Gro Platform. In response to feedback from top growers around the world, in combination with continuous testing, the company has focused on optimizing the production module for more efficient harvest planning. Additionally, the Reports module layout options have been updated to provide an all-in-one overview of a company’s growth strategy. These new enhancements are designed to help growers better understand their targeted growth strategy.
When it comes to product development and innovation, Grodan’s main goal is to ensure that all of its products fit the growth strategy and cultivation process in the high-tech greenhouses. Therefore, the company always closely involves producers around the world in the development process. In this case, that included conducting interviews to gather feedback on what should be included in the new version to meet producers’ needs.
Production module improvements for better harvest planning
In terms of production, growers face a number of challenges, including the complexity of planning the labour, packaging and shipping activities required, as well as challenges related to pricing, marketing and selling their crops. This makes the production module one of the key aspects of the e-Gro platform, as it provides information on the expected harvest. The e-Gro Yield Forecaster allows growers to optimize their planning, improving efficiency and reducing costs. It also saves a lot of time that would otherwise be spent manually analyzing historical data and performing calculations, whether it’s agricultural production and harvests or sales figures and prices. Therefore, Grodan is keen to ensure that the production module continues to fully meet the needs of producers.
Grower feedback received during interviews during the preparation of the new version confirmed that e-Gro users highly value the yield forecast for the next four weeks, which is unique in the market. The predictions are based on historical growth data combined with artificial intelligence (AI). However, interviews also revealed that growers sometimes adjust their yield strategies during the production process and they indicated that it would be useful to have an option to enter harvest plans into e-Gro. In the new version, the production module has been adapted so that users can now compare the expected yield to their own harvesting plans, which is essential to improve the harvesting strategy and understand if there are discrepancies between what is planned and what is planned.
In addition to this improvement, Grodan has reworked other production information, such as the inclusion of fruit weight as a new key performance indicator (KPI). Since low fruit weight is an important indication of plant balance, the new KPI will give growers a better understanding of harvest quality. Also, in line with the trend of remote crop management, the total season overview has been optimized for mobile use in the new version to further improve the user experience. This now allows growers to use a smartphone to analyze their planned, actual and predicted harvest. Other improvements include better analysis of the results of recorded production information and comparative analysis views of the current season’s crops.
Creating a report typically takes hours, requires multiple software tools, and requires collecting data from various sources. The reporting module saves producers valuable time in this context and is another of e-Gro’s core modules. When interviewing producers to discuss this module, several of them indicated that they would like to be able to print the information. They also made several interesting suggestions on how the information could be presented. In response to these comments, the new version’s Reports module now captures, saves and displays all key information and data in a comprehensive week-long overview, related to specific crop types. There is no need for Excel or other tools; growers can now find all the information they need in one place. With these new and improved display options, users can generate better analysis of key growth data for a specific crop. Data can also be exported in PDF format for printing.
With these and other enhancements, Grodan continues to help growers make the best use of all available data. As a result, growers can create better growth strategies as the basis for higher yields, better quality and more profitability.
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