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Significance of Crop Planning Software for Indoor Farming

Indoor farming is becoming more popular among citizens, researchers, and scientific communities as poor food quality continues to be a major concern. Due to industrialization, urbanization, uncontrolled release of toxic chemicals, and greenhouse gas emissions, the quality of soil across the United States is deteriorating. Moreover, food grown in this soil is prone to contamination and raises concerns for numerous health and wellness-related problems.

In this article, we take a closer look at the implications of growing urbanization and how crop planning software can be used to mitigate damages.

Implications of Urbanization on Farming

Urbanization has exerted negative impacts on crop production and food security because the fertile agricultural area is being used for developing housing societies and residential towers. At the same time, weather extremes and climatic conditions aren’t supportive of outdoor production in many regions of the USA. At the consumer level, these challenges aren’t always visible. Food shortages are often met with imports but that isn’t a long-term solution. Importing food products can involve significant delays and quality losses during food packaging and transportation. 

As a result, one of the most attractive alternatives at the moment is indoor farming and controlled environment agriculture. Food production in indoor conditions is a sustainable approach to get nutrition-rich and better-quality food at lower expenses.

What is Digital Crop Planning?

Crop planning, growth, and production in indoor systems is a technical task and requires great care and attention. Plants growing in the open-air environment can easily obtain sunlight, aeration, oxygen, humidity, and nutrients from the surroundings. Whereas indoor farming requires proper application and management of all conditions because any imbalance or improper handling can cause crop failure. The extent of damage and probability of crop failure can be greatly reduced by the use of indoor crop planning software.

Indoor farming management software is incredibly helpful in the early detection of specific requirements and problems which ultimately helps improve food quality and generate more revenue. 

Benefits of Using Crop Planning Software for Indoor Farming

  • Better Control

Indoor crop production is significantly dependent on correctly controlling environmental conditions. Manual control of controlled environment agriculture is difficult as multiple factors are needed to be just right in order to maintain feasible growing conditions.

Indoor software helps improve production by indicating the present status and required values of temperature, humidity, moisture, nutrients, light, and aeration. Therefore, the probability of abiotic stresses on growing crops will be significantly reduced and better production can be achieved.

controlled environment agriculture
greenhouse worker
  • Yield Prediction

Crop management software collects data based on various metrics and helps indoor growers make accurate yield predictions for specific crops. This in turn helps growers to plan the selling potential and sign contracts with the potential buyers.

  • Improved Communication and Activity Feed 

A properly connected team is more productive and can work with greater efficiency. Proper monitoring, data sharing, and assigning tasks according to the results help growers and workers to better communicate and achieve goals.

  • Cost Saving

Indoor crop planning software is also important for farmers to predict the management requirements according to the needs of growing crops. Properly managed and well-cared plants are less prone to disease, and stress. Thereby the need of using synthetic chemicals is reduced, and indoor growers can save a huge amount of money.

Table 1: Detection of some important properties/parameters in indoor farming by using crop planning software
  • Risk Management and Prevention of Losses

Indoor farm management consists of three major clusters: crop management, management of finances and enterprise, and enterprise resource planning. Indoor planning software is helpful in monitoring and predicting the quality and yield of crops. In other words, it is directly helpful for financing management, farm supervision, inventory maintenance, making financial and accounting reports, and guiding and controlling workers.

It also allows the collection of information about farming conditions, crop health, working capacities and activities of workers, and future analysis and planning according to real-time results. Predictive analyses with indoor farming software also optimize the input costs for improved efficiency and field performance.

Moreover, it also helps farmers/growers to identify the problems associated with the improper application of synthetic chemicals. The interpretation of collected information helps to optimize the input application and crop management according to specific requirements.

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  • Better Optimization of Resources

Crop planning software for indoor farming enables farmers to monitor vegetation indices, growth stages of crop plants, soil moisture contents, soil nutrients, fertilizer application, irrigation requirements, water stress, heat and cold shock, crop rotation data, and crop productivity.

The software can also be optimized for sending timely alerts in the form of cellular phone texts and email notifications. These notifications help growers to take timely action for soil or hydroponic cultivation, seeding, plantation, pest detection, chemical or organic spraying, crop fertilization, and yield harvesting.

 

  • Tracking Farming Operations

Indoor crop planning software also helps to make reports and to track farming progress. It also reduces the need for paperwork and human errors as software carefully obtains and tracks the data. Moreover, growers can also create traceability reports to indicate the origin of production and safety measures that were taken for specific food products.

  • Record Keeping

Indoor crop planning software offers an integrated solution to maintain records of specific crops. Keeping records of inputs, outputs, and well-maintained environmental conditions helps growers to plan crop rotation and optimize farming practices.  The collected data is also helpful to identify the trends of crop growth, probability of diseases, and insect pest attacks. Therefore, growers can easily get an idea about the expected problems. This prediction will also help to take on time management measures to control problems at the initial stages. Thus, this practice can save the crop from huge quality losses and protects growers from economical losses.
security feature
  • Less Energy Consumption and More Reliability 

Indoor crop management software helps to monitor and control all environmental conditions. So, light bulbs, fans, and misting sprays are only turned on at the time of need. Manual processes introduce a high margin of error, often leading to increased energy consumption. With software-based automation, a significant amount of energy can be saved with great consistency.

Embracing solutions to help move the agricultural industry forward by way of indoor farming is inevitable—and producers who aren’t relying on data to manage operations will be left in the dark. Improve yield and efficiency the right way, using Redbud Software. To find out more, request a demo or contact us to meet our team.