Automated Fertigation Equipment
After 35 years of helping growers maximize crop yields and lower productions costs we often get the same question time and time again on sales calls…
What makes your Fertigation Equipment different than any other competitors in the greenhouse automation industry?
The Top 3 things Climate Control Systems is Known for…
- Precise control for commercial grow operations (we will expand on this later)
- Customizable software and equipment that can grow with your farm
- Unparalleled standards on Durability and Warranty
Before we cover all of the details on why we are a world class provider of greenhouse automation systems, lets discuss what fertigation is and what it can do for your greenhouse or medical marijuana grow operation.
Fertigation is the application of adding fertilizer to an irrigation line to feed crops. Sometimes this process can be automated on a schedule if software is involved, like with our systems. Fertigation systems best work with drip irrigation going out to the crop and proper use of commercial fertilizers. Customized batches or feed formulas can be created in the software for up to 20 different crops.
Our fertigation manager has been used to feed certified organic crops, flowers, produce and now more recently medical cannabis crops. We help growers implement best practices and they immediately see the benefits in fertilizer and cost savings in under a year.
I know hundreds of growers that have fully automated their fertigation process and now they are able to increase production, grow a more profitable yield and use less fertilizer due to the implementation of an automated fertigation system. You can also read our article on Greenhouse Canada on fertigation applications for hydroponics.
Fertilizer injection is rapidly growing in both the medical marijuana space and vegetable greenhouse sectors. The early adopters are experiencing higher quality and increased production. As the technology improves we will see even more time and energy savings in the process.
The systems of the future will provide optimal efficiency and cost saving while improving quality of the plant life. Ease of use and remote monitoring and control will make it possible to manage and control crops with smart devices from anywhere in the world. Climate Control Systems is the first to pioneer that technology and we have secure remote access for all our greenhouse automation systems. If you are new to the marijuana industry you can read this article from the Cannabis Business Times to see if a fertigation system is right for you.
Employing an automated fertigation system and this new type of monitoring growers can make informed decisions that can significantly impact water and nutrient usage as well as contribute to reducing disease. Having an automated fertigation systems means your plants are completely cared for at all times. We have recently developed wireless sensors that read Temperature, E.C. and Water Moisture all at the root zone of the plant. This type of data is new to any industry and we are learning a lot about what happens within the growing media of different plant types. If your crop gets too dry, we can trigger an irrigation feed, by reading water content values right in the bag or soil of the crop.
So now that you know more about the fertigation process, let’s talk about the differences in our systems compared to others on the market.
Comparing Automated Injection Systems:
Venturi vs Positive Displacement – Why we have more precise control.
In most automated fertigation systems a venturi is in place to pull in fertilizer using a ball valve to regulate pressure and send it out to the irrigation line with no automation.
Our Fertigation Manager System uses up to 12 custom pneumatic injectors, which uses a positive displacement diaphragm pump to inject a precious amount of fertilizer every cycle. The automation software can be customized to the growers needs and we are monitoring E.C., Ph and the Flow Rate of the equipment at all times.
The custom injectors offer an cost effective way to inject almost any liquid into a water line at an adjustable ratio. We have tested the accuracy of these pumps and they can inject a precise amount of liquid down to 5ml. They are also rated for commercial grade flow rates up to 50GPM. Basically what this all boils down to is that you get constant fertilizer levels regardless of flow rates. With a venturi system you are working with a much larger margin of error, trying to dial in the precise amount of pressure to get the vacuum/fluid right, leading to waste and inaccurate levels of each fertilizer used.
Venturi – Fertigation Explainer Video
Positive Displacement – Pump Types Explainer Video
Fertigation Software & Equipment that Grows with You.
Our software also has a serious advantage over many other systems on the market, because it is very customizable to the growers needs.Growers can create up to 20 feed formula programs with customizable fertilizer batches or recipes for each crop you are looking to irrigate. These feed formulas can then be set to run on a schedule or also be triggered by some external value like solar light levels or even the water content right in the root zone of the plant. Different sensors are placed all throughout the greenhouse to better monitor your plants environment as well as its overall health.
In fact this has created an entire new industry in the automation world called “The Internet of Things” or Iot for short. In Iot you are creating a completely controlled environment through automation and real time data. All the various sensors collect data, create reports and make real time changes to the greenhouse if any levels seem to low or high of a value. This is something that is extremely valuable where quality control comes into play for the medical marijuana markets. As they say, 110% quality control from seed to sale.
We have been working hard to be one of the first companies to bring this new IoT technology to the greenhouse sector and are proud to say we recently have got certified as an IoT Partner by our supplier Opto22. The first company in Canada to develop Iot platforms for growers across many markets. If you would like to see the software in action contact us for a demo of the Fertigation manager software.
As you can see the software is simple to use and offers many features to growers that other systems just don’t have. After you our automated fertigation equipment, you can expect regular scheduled irrigation’s every day with the precise amounts of fertilizer to your crops. By use of drip emitters and a proper irrigation line, the machine will prevent the soil from becoming excessively saturated. We also keep and eye on this measurement with our soil moisture sensors, which can also be set up for wireless communication in the greenhouse to be monitored by your smartphone or other devices that connect to the internet.
What about Parts and Warranty?
Any control from the Opto22 platform comes with a Lifetime Warranty, we have systems out in the field that have been up and running for over 20 years with very minor issues or replacement parts need. Often times the only calls we get are for replacement diaphragms for the fertigation manager injector pumps as they do wear out eventually (maybe every decade or so). As far as all other parts in the control panels they are modular and very easy to snap out and replace. Again all these parts come with a Lifetime Warranty and are replaced if any thing happens to them.
Future software upgrades are also available when a new launch is ready for production. We are constantly testing and evolving our code to better suit the changing landscape of what growers need and expect from a world class greenhouse automation company. If you would like to talk with one of our Engineers about your next commercial greenhouse operation or grow op, you can call us directly at 1-519-322-2515
**NOTE** We are affiliated in any way with any other company or competitor products mentioned in this article, they are only for demonstration purposes only.