12.12.2023 | 3 min read

Cultivating better crop outcomes with real-time alerts

Grower in greenhouse using phone
Real-time alerts provide growers with timely updates on various factors affecting crop production.

Managing crop production is an ever-changing landscape which comes with many challenges. Navigating these challenges requires growers to have key plant and climate information at their fingertips in order to respond. That's why the ability to receive real-time alerts is not just an advantage – it's a necessity for the modern grower. Let's examine the role that alerts play in helping enterprise growers make better crop management decisions.

Safeguarding crop production

In an increasingly turbulent world of unpredictable and sometimes extreme weather events, growers face the challenge of maintaining crop health and safe-guarding production. As shifts in climate can lead to pest infestations, disease outbreaks or direct damage to fruit, growers must be vigilant. Minimizing the risk of damage to crops due to temperature changes or humidity shifts requires prompt action. Alerts function as early warnings when climate falls outside specified parameters, enabling growers to take pre-emptive action to avoid or mitigate the impact.

African Blue's Success Story: African Blue successfully averted potential crop damage by leveraging FarmRoad's alert feature. Timely notifications about frost risk enabled them to protect their 470 hectares of blueberry production.

The testimonial by Aziz El Kahlaoui, African Blue Horticultural Manager highlights his experience using real-time alerts: “With alert functions, we can better manage our response to potential frost and disease risk. For me, and also for other senior managers, it's a help to have an alert on my phone so I can check with the field manager to make sure they are making the right decisions for the situation.”

Enabling optimal conditions for plant growth

Balancing resources is key to managing crop performance. Below are examples of how alerts could redefine resource management strategies.

  1. Optimizing Temperature and Climate Management. Growers can leverage temperature alerts to analyze the impact of temperature events on plant growth. Additionally, FarmRoad’s Data Studio offers a user-friendly interface for visualizing graphs and spotting trends, enhancing analytical capabilities.

  2. Maintaining Optimal VPD Levels for Active Growth and Stress Reduction. Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) is a crucial metric in agriculture to determine the impact of plant stress on plant transpiration. Growers can use VPD alerts to ensure adequate transpiration for optimal plant growth.

Avoiding risk of disease outbreaks

Growers know that diseases can spread rapidly if not addressed promptly. Real-time alerts for disease risk empower them to stay one step ahead, avoiding conditions which lead to disease development. Furthermore, alerts provide crucial information for taking prompt remedial action, such as applying preventative sprays to maintain the health of their crops.

Alerts to the right team member via the right channel

The vast differences in infrastructure and services at enterprise-sized farms means growers should have a choice of alert communication channels. For example: email alerts may not be practical in areas with limited internet connectivity, and so using text or WhatsApp messaging is an essential alternative for reaching farm staff on the move. Being able to customize notifications so that alerts are only sent to specific teams or individuals ensures they only receive alerts when necessary.

“With alerts via WhatsApp, we can more successfully manage our response to potential frosts and disease-risk.” Aziz El Kahlaoui, African Blue Horticultural Manager 

Empowering growers with real-time alerts

As the protected cropping practices continue to evolve, real-time alerts can play a vital role in empowering growers to proactively address plant stress, adapt to environmental changes, optimize growth conditions, and make better crop management decisions. FarmRoad helps enterprise growers to quickly understand where their attention is required, making it easier to optimize resources and inputs.

Strawberry with botrytis

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