Crop registration is an essential task to maintain optimal conditions for your plants. Even in a controlled growing environment, conditions vary over time. Changing weather/climate conditions, management practices, biologicals, and interactions of crop cultivars/varieties with their environment are all factors that affect developing crops. So how do growers gain an understanding of how these variables are affecting their future harvests so they can take action? The answer lies in crop registration.
What is crop registration?
Crop registration is a method by which measurements from a small selection of plants act as a proxy to represent the general health of the whole of the crop. By taking regular crop registration measurements as the plants develop, growers are able to better understand the status and progress of their crops and respond accordingly.
Typically, measurements are gathered from a single sensor that covers a large growing area. Therefore, the question is whether the data is sufficient to estimate crop status. To better understand crop responses and adjust factors that affect crop growth, the crop itself has to be measured. These measurements include morphological and physical features of the crop. This is the practice known as crop registration.
A high-performing crop is defined as one for which the inputs and outputs are in balance. Crop inputs include light (PAR/RAD), temperature, carbon dioxide, water and nutrients.
Why should I conduct crop registration?
Crop registration provides growers short-term and long-term insights for better crop management. A balanced crop has the optimum growth rate and maintains the right amount of vegetative biomass (assimilate potential) to support generative growth – in other words, the optimum stem structure and number of leaves to support flower and fruit growth.
With insights from weekly crop registrations, growers can adjust the environment to steer the crop back into balance (vegetative or generative, depending on which way the crop is veering). This is an important part of crop management practice especially in perpetually harvested crops like tomatoes.
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