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Cultilene markets Motorleaf harvest forecast tool

Saint-Gobain Cultilene partners with Motorleaf to market its high-tech harvest forecasting service.

The Canadian company Motorleaf develops turn-key artificial-intelligence automation solutions for the horticultural sector. Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for growers to use their greenhouse data to control, predict and improve growing conditions and business processes. “This enables growers to advance further and will completely change the horticultural world”, says Mariëlle Klijn, marketing manager at Cultilene.

Motorleaf forecasting service for Cultilene clients

In addition to producing substrate and glass solutions for the greenhouse industry, Cultilene will introduce Motorleaf’s harvest forecasting service to their global horticulture clients. This service provides commercial hydroponic greenhouse growers with automated, detailed and accurate information about expected yields weeks in advance.

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Tomato and pepper greenhouses worldwide are using Motorleaf's automated harvest forecasts. According to the company, their AI-automation technology reduced errors in forecasts by 50 to 70 percent compared. - Photos: Fotostudio Atelier 68
Tomato and pepper greenhouses worldwide are using Motorleaf's automated harvest forecasts. According to the company, their AI-automation technology reduced errors in forecasts by 50 to 70 percent compared. - Photos: Fotostudio Atelier 68

Harvest forecasts up to 4 weeks in advance

Motorleaf developed this system in response to market demands. “In 2017, a Californian tomato grower asked us if we could help him predict his harvest,” explains Alastair Monk, co-founder and CEO of Motorleaf. “He needed more detailed predictions; until then he had been basing his harvest forecasts on his own crop observations. We developed [AI technology] – based on all available data within the company – that gives an accurate prediction of the expected harvest. We can now issue harvest forecasts up to 4 weeks in advance.”

Also read: Osram acquires stake in startup Motorleaf

Benefits for greenhuise businesses

This benefits greenhouse businesses on many fronts, says Motorleaf. “For example, they know in advance how much vegetable produce they will have, which avoids the need for growers to sell unforeseen surpluses in harvest at flash-sale prices or having to buy additional produce at the last minute at a premium when weekly harvests unexpectedly fall short of amounts buyers expected to obtain beforehand.”

Also, the detailed harvest forecast provides means to better organise the planning of labour and promotional sales campaigns. “In short: this artificial intelligence solution enables growers to limit risks and optimise their business operations and thus their returns.”

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A detailed harvest forecast provides means to better organise the planning of labour and promotional sales campaigns.
A detailed harvest forecast provides means to better organise the planning of labour and promotional sales campaigns.

Errors in forecasts reduced by 50 to 70 percent

Tomato and pepper greenhouses worldwide are using Motorleaf’s automated harvest forecasts. According to the company, their AI-automation technology reduced errors in forecasts by 50 to 70 percent compared to current predictions based on manual crop calculations.

Mariëlle Klijn: “We are convinced that Motorleaf’s harvest forecast service has added value for tomato and pepper growers worldwide. That is why we are actively bringing this service to the attention of our customers. In addition, this harvest forecast service is a perfect example of ‘Data Driven Growing’; one of the most pioneering developments within the global horticulture sector and a cornerstone objective of Cultilene.”

The video underneath show the Motorleaf pitch during the FoodBytes event in Montreal, 2018

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