Batch or Crop Batch
A batch is a group or single instance of a crop variety that is seeded, moved and harvested in unison. This could range from a single potted tomato plant to an entire rack of trays of micro-greens. A batch can be identified by its Crop variety, its seeding and planned harvest date, and the number of seeding units. Batches are the primary unit we use to track production in the system.
Is the top level type of plant being grown. A Crop has many varieties. (e.g. Basil or Tomato)
Crop Variety or Cultivar
The specific type of seed or mother plant being used to grow a batch. (e.g. Genovese is a common variety of Basil)
A facility is the top level grouping for operations in an organization. A facility maps to a single physical space where production takes place. An organization can have many facilities, but currently a user is only looking at/managing a single facility at a time.
When harvesting a crop the amount harvested is measured in harvest units. Harvest units are a configurable unit measure (per organization) that is calculated in terms of weight. For example, Homefarms uses 'Cases' as their harvest unit and each case weighs 2kg. Harvest units are an integral part of how we calculate yield.
Nutrient Film (or Flow) Technique is a system of hydroponic growing that uses ‘channels’ that plants are place into (with holes and a soil-less medium) and a nutrient solution is run through the channel saturating the roots. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrient_film_technique
Organization is the top-most structure in the application. Every user and facility in the app belongs to an organization. Organizations can have many facilities.
is one of the largest and most popular manufacturers of climate control systems used in indoor ag. They are based in the Netherlands and their complete climate control packages can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the larger organizations we're talking to have Priva systems and we've been working to get the climate/sensor data out of their systems in an automatic way.
Climate control systems like Priva are able to maintain temperature and humidity in a facility by monitoring the data that comes from sensors placed throughout a facility. This is not that different from a home thermostat (for temperature at least). Depending on the size and sophistication of the facility and climate control system they might have many sensors for temperature, humidity, irrigation, nutrients, etc.
Depending on how facilities are laid out or set up with climate control systems, the areas that sensors cover might not be 1:1 with the physical zones that are set up for production management. We have a many to many relationship between sensors and zones in the system, meaning a sensor could cover many zones or a zone could have many sensors that apply to it. By maintaining this relationship and the knowledge of where a crop is located in the physical zones we can have an accurate picture of the different climate settings a crop was in during its lifetime.
When a crop batch is started it is planted into seeding units. Seeding units are measured in area (e.g. sq ft) and are configured per organization. For example, Homefarms plants 10 trays of Basil. Each tray is 2ft x 1ft (or, 2 sq ft). This area is an integral part of calculating yield.
Seeding Plan or Template
One of the innovations we hope to bring to production planning is the codification of Seeding Plans/Templates. Most facilities operate on a regular schedule of seeding and harvest: a seeding plan is a repeating plan of how long a batch is in each zone before being moved or harvested. This plan is then put on a schedule of how often it should be started and seeded. With a set of seeding plans created a grower should just be able to follow the tasks created for them (from the plans) to correctly and efficiently move their crops around their facility.
Yield is the unified metric of production for a facility. Actual yield is usually calculated as: total weight of harvests / total area of seeding aggregated for a given time period. Internally this means taking the (total harvest units * their weight) / (the total seeding units * their area) for a given day.
The expected yield metric estimates actual yield for crops that are in the system but have not yet been harvested. Expected yield is calculated for any crop batch that fits this description by taking the average of past actual yield measurements for crop batches that have the same variety. For example, if a batch of 10 trays of Thai Basil is seeded, and we have harvest weight per tray for past batches of Thai Basil, we average those past values to get the expected yield for the current batch of 10 trays.
Zone / Sub Zone
A Zone in the application refers specifically to a physical area of a facility, a subzone being a smaller area of a larger zone. Depending on the type and layout of a facility this could mean many different things: For a typical greenhouse operation, each greenhouse would be a zone and different rows or areas in the greenhouse would be subzones. These area are relatively arbitrary and their importance lies in a growers ability to locate a specific batch based on a zone/sub zone. Some zones do not have individual subzones and are just small or undivided rooms (like germination chambers).
Biomaterials & Biochemicals
Companies using biological material to produce/farm: peptides, bioplastics, non-ag inputs, microorganisms, pharmaceuticals, microbes and algae, functional ingredients/nutrients/phytoceuticals.
Decision Support Tech
Software-focused category encompassing the large majority of precision agriculture technologies, excluding those in drones & robotics, and smart equipment & hardware. It includes satellite data companies, big data, & ERP systems.
Food to Consumer
Companies that directly deliver food to consumers from farms, differing from food e-commerce, which involves e-grocers, meal kit delivery services, and specialist meal delivery.
Food Safety & Traceability
Companies attempting to track food production, food sterilization or introduce technologies that reduce the risk of food safety concerns.
Companies looking to replace traditional sources of protein such as meat and eggs.