Nowadays, the word ‘autonomous’ (or a synonym thereof) is being used in conjunction with greenhouses everywhere you look – in magazines, on websites and at trade fairs. Everyone’s telling you that your greenhouse must become data-driven! In fact, if you’re just a ‘regular’ grower who walks around the greenhouse doing what feels right, you really are lagging behind. If you believe the hype, you should be using data, algorithms and AI – and the relevant greenhouse technology is already available.
But if you ask me, there’s an element of risk involved. I’m a big fan of further automation and striving towards the autonomous greenhouse. After all, it’s a little absurd to continue to rely on green fingers and instinct when there’s so much money at stake. But although I’m in favor of autonomous greenhouses, what concerns me is that it’s increasingly becoming a marketing-driven battle rather than a technology-driven one.