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Integration of plant phenotyping now easier than ever

June 2024

"Gardin Pulse has analyzed more than 10 million chlorophyll fluorescence measurements since product launch in June 2023." says Connor Goddard, Head of Platform at Gardin.

In his role at Gardin, Connor leads the engineering of the platform that ensures the delivery of great insights to growers. Otherwise said, Gardin's sensors collect plant phenotyping data and Connor's team makes sure that this data is analyzed and presented in a relevant way.

Gardin Pulse is the platform connected to the company's chlorophyll fluorescence sensors which can be deployed in any indoor growing environment Vertical Farms, Greenhouses and Seed-breeders such as Enza Zaden. Gardin's plug-and-play solution allows growers to continuously monitor chlorophyll fluorescence (i.e., the plant's capacity to photosynthesize) and plant activity indices, adjust lighting according to real-time data and thus reduce plant stress and improve crop yield.

Left: Gardin sensor at FromBoer lettuce farm. Right: Gardin Sensor deployed into Bayer polytunnel.

Gardin has over a 160 sensors deployed across Europe, North America, Middle East and Africa. Gardin Pulse has been used to assess the physiology of more than 15 species of vegetable, fruit and floriculture crops, with the most popular crops being lettuce, strawberries and cucumbers.

"Generally speaking, our customers use the Gardin Pulse app to check on the health of their crops twice a day, with early morning and mid-afternoon being the most popular times for logging on." explains Connor.

The 10 million point mark a sign of scalability

Gardin has analyzed more than 10 million data points which as Connor explains, demonstrate the scalability of Gardin's solution. But as growers know, it's about more than just numbers. Data for data's sake can quickly create noise. So while the 10-million milestone is important for the technology, Gardin's real value comes from their ability to translate those measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence into grower-friendly, actionable insights on when to take action to avoid crop stress, and how to optimise their growing regimes.

Gardin 'Real-time' Plant Health Index.

A commercially viable way of instrumenting large surfaces

While other chlorophyll fluorescence technologies exist, Connor explains that this high resolution on a single leaf comes at the expense of greenhouse-wide measurements as it is not technologically or economically viable to install leaf probes across the greenhouse. Gardin's solution provides data across a much larger area.

"The difference is between measuring up to ten decimal places on a single leaf and having fewer decimal places but across the greenhouse. Our system has allowed us to develop a very comprehensive data set across multiple crops and growing conditions thanks to collaborations with various growers." says Connor. "This is important because under most conditions, you cannot make decisions based on a few samples or plants. That is what we have unlocked with our system."

As Connor explains, Gardin Pulse's monitoring system and intuitive user interface help growers keep their crops running at top efficiency but there is also an increasing demand for integrations that allow deeper dives into the data. To address this demand, Gardin recently launched a suite of APIs that allow seamless and autonomous integration directly with customers' existing systems.

The Sensor Management API, for example, facilitates the management and control of Gardin sensors by allowing users to list, describe and group their sensors as well as operate device schedules and measurement jobs. Further, the Alert Notification API delivers "real-time plant health alert updates via a secure webhook or web socket connection," according to Connor. The Query API is also a part of the API suite and enables deep analysis and data sharing through user-submitted queries and bulk data downloads of chlorophyll fluorescence and indices data, depending on the customer's license.

"Gardin recognized early on that integrating with other systems like climate computers, actuation systems and analysis tools that growers already rely upon was key to unlocking a full 360 degree solution for our customers." says Connor. "The Gardin API unlocks true data-driven growing and crop optimization and sets the stage for full closed-loop growing environments."

And the innovation does not stop there. The Gardin team will continue to innovate and deliver additional APIs and integrations in the future. They will also be working to develop additional features centered on optimizing lighting and other costly resources.

"Even when the crop is growing well and without stress, growers want to know if there is more that they can do to reduce energy and water use while keeping the same level of plant health. Our upcoming product roadmap will really allow our customers to move from a reactive to proactive footing." says Connor.

Gardin will be exhibiting at GreenTech Amsterdam 2024 on June 11-13 at Booth 05.212.

Also featured in Vertical Farm Daily: https://www.verticalfarmdaily.com/article/9630999/plant-phenotyping-made-accessible-and-actionable/.

To learn more about how Gardin can help your farm, contact us www.gardin.ag/contact.