People’s living standards rapidly improve because of the development of economy in China , consumers demand for high-quality and safe agricultural products. Shanghai Lankuaikei Technology Development Co., Ltd. and Wageningen University in the Netherlands started a 4-year cooperation project “Big Data Quantification and Modelling for Modern Agriculture in China” in 2018, in which greenhouse model technology will be applied in greenhouse industry in China.
Greenhouse crop models help decision-making in the greenhouse
Didi Qian, project leader of this project indicated, “Over the past decades, China has cooperation in greenhouse industry with several countries, such as the Netherlands, Israel, and the United States, but the outcome was not as promising as we expected. Advanced equipment or technology abroad were applied in Chinese conditions, however, are they suitable for the climate conditions in China? How can we use them? Are they feasible in China? Actually, we cannot answer those questions based on reliable data and information. So far we can only rely on the experiences to make decision. It results in many non profitable “high-tech” greenhouses in China. By doing this project, we aimed to bring the concept “making decision based on data” to Chinese greenhouse industry.”
"The greenhouse models are computer programs that contain many equations, which simulate the greenhouse climate as a result of certain weather conditions and climate control settings, they also simulate crop growth and development as a result of the greenhouse climate. It is worth to emphasize that these equations are based on theory, and their parameters have their biologically meanings. The models have been validated in Europe, and are being validated and optimized by Lankuaikei and Wageningen University in China. Lankuaikei invested in an 1.5-hectare experimental greenhouse in Chongming Island of Shanghai for model validation, as well as for testing and applying the latest greenhouse equipments and technology in China. The IT team of this project is also developing a production management system user’s interface, in which the models are as the brain, to be used for growers later for supporting greenhouse management."
Making greenhouse production predictable
“If a greenhouse is being built in a certain location, what facilities an investor has to invest? Does the greenhouse production need artificial light? What kind of energy source is the most feasible one for heating and cooling? When is the best planting date for certain crop? What is the expected yield? These questions can be answered by model simulations. When the greenhouse is built, the data simulated by the models could also support the growers on managing the climate control, irrigation, and cultivation planning. “ Didi said. “model simulations provide results of different climate control strategies, so that growers could have better prediction what will happen if they choose one strategy instead of another. We want to make growers more proactive with the support of the models.”
“Golden triangle” agricultural development
Lankuaikei was established in 2017 and aims to accelerate the development of modern agriculture in China by technology and data. "Knowledge is the key for agricultural development, but is always underestimated in China as well as in other countries. Lankuaikei is market oriented, we find the practical problems in agriculture in China, and try to solve the problems by initiating project, using the talents from both China and abroad. In this way, we act as a bridge between agricultural research and application, theory and practice."
"The project integrates knowledge and technology into Chinese condition, and the methodology could be considered later in other projects.” Didi said. “We firmly believe that the golden triangle agricultural development is an effective way to solve agricultural problems. The cooperation between Lankuaikei and the Wageningen University is an example. It is the first cooperation between the Wageningen University and a Chinese company in greenhouse field."