Three themes to watch at GreenTech 2019

I’m excited to announce that Midstream Lighting is participating in this year’s GreenTech exhibition, showcasing our latest lighting solutions for the horticulture industry.

The horticultural sector is a particularly exciting space at the moment. A significant peak in consumer awareness of healthy living and sustainability, combined with the understanding of global challenges we face, such as climate change, means people are calling for change and businesses are looking for new ways of working. As such, both growers and the wider industry are looking at the technologies which can help with the challenges they currently face.

One of the many innovative solutions being showcased at this year’s GreenTech is Midstream Lighting’s own latest technology, Flare. Our new LED top lighting solution enables growers to tailor a wide range of spectra to suit their specific crops at all stages of plant growth. The system has been developed with growers’ needs in mind, following extensive feedback from international horticulturalists across a number of specialisms, and will deliver the yield, uniformity, quality and sustainability that growers rely on.

It’s been an incredibly exciting first day for us at GreenTech, giving us the opportunity to share our new technologies with existing and new customers and partners. I wanted to share three themes we’ve been talking about beyond our launch of Flare.: advances in autonomous technology, the role of tech in greenhouse management, and the benefits of LED lighting on medicinal cannabis.

1) The rise of autonomous technology: vehicles

Whilst automation and driverless technology are tipped as major growth areas in the HGV and passenger transport areas, one area of the motor industry that’s ploughing ahead of the mainstream commercial vehicle industry is agri-tech. One example of this is American tractor manufacturer John Deere’s vehicles, which have been using AI, GPS, camera and radar technology to operate with some degree of autonomy over the past few years.
Its equipment took front and centre stage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), showcasing the impact autonomous vehicles will have on the farming industry. Whilst current laws state that all agricultural machinery must be operated with human involvement, a degree of automation makes the process much easier for the operator, enabling them to focus on specific areas of the job at hand.

2) The increased role of technology in greenhouse management

With factors such as climate change, increasing populations and rapid urbanisation driving uncertainty amongst crop production, meeting the demands of feeding the planet in an efficient and sustainable way is a continuing challenge for growers.

As such, growers are turning to technology in search of some much-needed stability. According to Greenhouse Grower’s most recent technology trends, 77 per cent of the top 100 growers , globally, are investing in technology, with the most pertinent reason being improved efficiency. The types of technology growers are investing in range from production automation, inventory and transportation software and irrigation equipment and controls, driving more turns, improved order processing and more uniform crops.
As technology becomes ever-more sophisticated, it will be interesting to see the tangible impact it can have on growers’ bottom line.

3) LED and medicinal marijuana

As the marijuana industry continues to boom thanks to an ever-increasing number of countries decriminalising or outright legalising its use – particularly for medicinal purposes, focus has now turned to meeting the demand on production.

The industrialisation of cannabis is powering huge growth in the industry, with the global market said to expand from $13bn this year, to $32bn in five years .
Typically, indoor producers relied on hot, high-intensity lights to produce their crop. When you add air-conditioning and ventilation to that, the energy used to grow a single marijuana plant could run seven fridges in the same time period. LED lighting is changing that, reducing costs without sacrificing quality or yield, and enabling growers to provide the optimum environment for the plants at all times, driving huge growth.

The LED lighting business is only in its infancy, and the benefits it can have on industries across sectors is huge. We’ll be showcasing our own range of LED lighting at GreenTech – you can find out more at Midstream Lighting’s stand in Hall 12 at Stand 12.723. Join us and we’ll share some of the exciting possibilities our products can offer.

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