What are your challenges? What info can help you to grow better

Growing(Last edited )

Hi there,

We're hoping to submit an application for the Data Pitch programme: https://datapitch.eu/challenges-2018/dpc4-2018/ so we would love to have grower's input in our idea development.

Here are my questions: "What are your top challenges/questions as a grower?" and "is there any information you would like to have to minimise the problem or answer the question?"

Look forward to hearing from you all.

(Edited by GROW)


In the context of my farm (43ha in coastal Algarve Portugal, a hot summer mediterranean climate zone), our practice of Regenerative Agriculture is largely about improving the capacity of our soils to hold moisture for a longer time following winter rains.

So as to our specific needs -prioritized by ease of satisfaction, tho not necessarily importance- i would say:

  1. Useful reports from our own sensors The companion software (FlowerPower app) gives only real-time display and short (1 week) history of data from a single sensor... But for one who has many sensors in the field (in my case 174, each one being a data logger that takes readings of 4 variables every 15 minutes), this sort of view is not very helpful. Now i do get a one-page view of my sensors on this hub website, but this view adds little value beyond that of FP app, besides the embedded map that is not working very well IMHO (you can zoom in on the pins to a granular view, but when you click on a single pin, the map loses focus and zooms back out to global view). If OTOH i could access a very rich data dashboard, enabling me to analyse and visualise data from all sensors i have deployed across a wide area, along weeks/ months/ seasons of the year, that would be just great!

  2. Community of Practice: These discussion forums can serve as a useful starting point for such community, but are presently lacking in certain refinements (e.g. threaded discussion, different categories of user, search tools, etc.) that could make it easier to connect with the right information/ right person at the right time.

  3. Plants database: Again, the Observatory is starting to build such a database, but it has a long way to go, not only in terms of content, but also data architecture and user interface. What i want is a comprehensive database, well-structured, and with powerful filters, in which i can find the plants that are relevant to me, and everything worth knowing about them -including who else in the CoP (#2 above) is using them and for what. Best example i know of along such lines is one that has been built from the ground-up here in Portugal- http://www.flora-on.pt -to the point where it is now a quite comprehensive and powerful took indeed.

  4. Customers for our Agricultural & Touristic products & Services; I gather that is a point of focus in the Data Pitch, but i don't see as how potential customers might relate to the data that a local GROWer is collecting from soil sensors? Unless the customer is interested, more as a matter of principle, to patronize a local GROWer who is interested in soil regeneration... And if it's that, then sure, i'd love any app that could connect me with such potential customers in my area.

So there you have it, Chloe, my €0.02, FWIW. I hope you can do something constructive with it!

Thank you so much Walt! We appreciate your answer and we'll take it into consideration during our idea development. I might have further questions later on, if so I will leave further comments here as a reply. Best,

I am only just beginning growing in a new area of the UK. I have moved from a wet, acid, loamy soil on clay with lower temperatures and a short growing season to Suffolk. Hotter, drier, alkaline and we have several acres! The challenges will be to grow suitable crops for a hotter and drier situation. The pumpkins went crazy. Huge and plentiful. So how to grow plants together to increase moisture retention, best growing methods. Best sowing times and whether to plant autumn sown crops. Pest reduction especially whitefly on brassicas. We also have plentiful supplies of old straw- best use?