Water and nutrient management solutions for horticulture
E-mail
sales@ce-line.com
Call
+31 (0)527 50 24 68

Solutions

CE-Line's automated solution empowers you to optimize your agricultural investments and financial outcomes

The challenges

Why nutrients are so important in greenhouse operations

NUTRIENTS

Nutrients are important in a greenhouse because they are essential for the healthy growth of plants. In a greenhouse environment, plants depend on the nutrients supplied to them, as they may not have access to the same level of natural nutrients as they would outdoors. The proper balance of nutrients ensures that plants can develop strong roots, sufficient foliage, and vibrant flowers or fruits, which is crucial for a successful greenhouse operation. Substrates play a significant role in the uptake of nutrients by plants in a greenhouse. The physical and chemical properties of substrates affect the availability and accessibility of essential nutrients to plant roots. Additionally, proper substrate pH and nutrient content impact the plant’s ability to absorb essential elements.

NUTRIENTS

Nutrients are important in a greenhouse because they are essential for the healthy growth of plants. In a greenhouse environment, plants depend on the nutrients supplied to them, as they may not have access to the same level of natural nutrients as they would outdoors. The proper balance of nutrients ensures that plants can develop strong roots, sufficient foliage, and vibrant flowers or fruits, which is crucial for a successful greenhouse operation. Substrates play a significant role in the uptake of nutrients by plants in a greenhouse. The physical and chemical properties of substrates affect the availability and accessibility of essential nutrients to plant roots. Additionally, proper substrate pH and nutrient content impact the plant’s ability to absorb essential elements.

LABORATORY ANALYSIS

Traditionally the growing operations in a greenhouse rely on taking samples to control the nutrient concentrations. This to avoid deficits or overdosing that can damage crop health situation. Most used protocol is to have a rougher measurement at high frequency, mostly by Electroconductivity (EC) measurement and laboratory analysis on a week or two weekly basis. This bears a risk: the EC value is an indication for the “overall” levels of nutrients and does not deliver any insight on specific nutrient effects. This while most crops have very specific effects towards over- and underdosing on specific nutrients. Especially when returning drain water (with left over nutrients) is re-used. The other option of low frequency – but more detailed – analysis has another big disadvantage too: the data is outdated at delivery since circumstances of growth (stage of growth and harvesting, sunlight, humidity etc.) probably have changed already. The end effect: more stress at plant levels than necessary or even a loss of crop. The latter is happening when manual or mechanical mistakes occur that are simply traced too late.

LABORATORY ANALYSIS

Traditionally the growing operations in a greenhouse rely on taking samples to control the nutrient concentrations. This to avoid deficits or overdosing that can damage crop health situation. Most used protocol is to have a rougher measurement at high frequency, mostly by Electroconductivity (EC) measurement and laboratory analysis on a week or two weekly basis. This bears a risk: the EC value is an indication for the “overall” levels of nutrients and does not deliver any insight on specific nutrient effects. This while most crops have very specific effects towards over- and underdosing on specific nutrients. Especially when returning drain water (with left over nutrients) is re-used. The other option of low frequency – but more detailed – analysis has another big disadvantage too: the data is outdated at delivery since circumstances of growth (stage of growth and harvesting, sunlight, humidity etc.) probably have changed already. The end effect: more stress at plant levels than necessary or even a loss of crop. The latter is happening when manual or mechanical mistakes occur that are simply traced too late.

Our solutions

The plug & play laboratory in your greenhouse

Solution

CE-Line-packshot-sm

CE-Line offers a high frequency, automated and detailed solution to reduce plant stress and make optimal use of nutrients. Automatic sampling delivers nutrient-specific data when you need it.

Solution

CE-Line-packshot-sm

CE-Line offers a high frequency, automated and detailed solution to reduce plant stress and make optimal use of nutrients. CE-Line will take samples automatically and deliver the nutrient specific data.

Quantifiable results

RESULTS

The effects of using CE-Line, as shared by Wageningen University & Research:


“In a four-year project from 2019 to 2022, ion-specific cultivation was extensively investigated through laboratories and cultivation experiments. At CEW (Centre of Expertise Water Technology ), the ion-specific meter CE-Line was tested with encouraging results. At Wageningen University & Research, Greenhouse Horticulture Business Unit, the effects of sub-optimal nutrient concentration at the root level were quantified. Demonstration trials have contributed to experiencing the application of ion-specific cultivation in practice. CE-Line proved sufficient accuracy and reliability to be used in practice. With more information about the composition of the drain, growers can more confidently recirculate the drain water and prevent discharge. This will contribute to achieving a virtually zero discharge of nutrients into surface water. This project has also provided evidence that sub-optimal nutrient concentrations at the root level can lead to a potential growth loss of 3-4%. Through ion- specific driven cultivation growers could reduce these risks and see the benefits on yield”.

Wageningen University & Research

RESULTS

The effects of using CE-Line, as shared by Wageningen University & Research:


“In a four-year project from 2019 to 2022, ion-specific cultivation was extensively investigated through laboratories and cultivation experiments. At CEW (Centre of Expertise Water Technology ), the ion-specific meter CE-Line was tested with encouraging results. At Wageningen University & Research, Greenhouse Horticulture Business Unit, the effects of sub-optimal nutrient concentration at the root level were quantified. Demonstration trials have contributed to experiencing the application of ion-specific cultivation in practice. CE-Line proved sufficient accuracy and reliability to be used in practice. With more information about the composition of the drain, growers can more confidently recirculate the drain water and prevent discharge. This will contribute to achieving a virtually zero discharge of nutrients into surface water. This project has also provided evidence that sub-optimal nutrient concentrations at the root level can lead to a potential growth loss of 3-4%. Through ion- specific driven cultivation growers could reduce these risks and see the benefits on yield”.

Wageningen University & Research

CE-Line CLASS

Expert advise on what your crops need

CE-Line CLASS

CE-Line CLASS

Our CE-Line CLASS agronomists offer you the latest insights on high-frequency nutrient data, empowering you to make financially informed decisions about your agricultural practices. Leveraging their expertise, you can drive growth and maximize profits. They provide guidance on aligning the data with your nutrient recipes and climate conditions, ensuring efficient resource allocation for optimal returns.

Frequent changes in the greenhouse nutrient solution are essential for preventing nutrient depletion and maintaining a balanced, cost-effective nutrient profile for plant growth. This approach safeguards against the accumulation of harmful compounds, promoting efficient resource usage while maximizing financial returns at all growth stages.

Irrespective of your crop – be it tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, cannabis, or any other – feel free to consult us for advice on nutrient sampling and dosing. We’re dedicated to helping you optimize your agricultural investments and financial outcomes.

Our CE-Line CLASS agronomists offer you the latest insights on high-frequency nutrient data, empowering you to make financially informed decisions about your agricultural practices. Leveraging their expertise, you can drive growth and maximize profits. They provide guidance on aligning the data with your nutrient recipes and climate conditions, ensuring efficient resource allocation for optimal returns.

Frequent changes in the greenhouse nutrient solution are essential for preventing nutrient depletion and maintaining a balanced, cost-effective nutrient profile for plant growth. This approach safeguards against the accumulation of harmful compounds, promoting efficient resource usage while maximizing financial returns at all growth stages.

Irrespective of your crop – be it tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, cannabis, or any other – feel free to consult us for advice on nutrient sampling and dosing. We’re dedicated to helping you optimize your agricultural investments and financial outcomes.

Integration guidelines

Sampling frequency conditions

To maximize the effectiveness of a CE-Line measurement, there are a few basics to follow in terms of location and frequency. To gain the best insights, we recommend integrating CE-line at the 3 sampling locations and the frequency, as illustrated in this section.

3 SAMPLING POINTS FOR BEST RESULT

Integration at these 3 sampling points deliver the best insights.

3 SAMPLING POINTS FOR BEST RESULT

Integration at these 3 sampling points deliver the best insights.

Control

The control of all irrigation water should be monitored from the mixing tank, ideally measured directly within or immediately after the tank. This allows for precise sampling and control of all intended nutrients, including water intake and nutrient dosing. By doing this, any manual or mechanical errors in flow or dosing can be quickly identified and corrected. Additionally, the measured nutrient mix serves as the ultimate reference to compare against your nutrient plan. The frequency of these measurements should align with how often you adjust your nutrient recipes and/or the irrigation cycles for specific sections of your greenhouse.

Control

The control of all irrigation water should be monitored from the mixing tank, ideally measured directly within or immediately after the tank. This allows for precise sampling and control of all intended nutrients, including water intake and nutrient dosing. By doing this, any manual or mechanical errors in flow or dosing can be quickly identified and corrected. Additionally, the measured nutrient mix serves as the ultimate reference to compare against your nutrient plan. The frequency of these measurements should align with how often you adjust your nutrient recipes and/or the irrigation cycles for specific sections of your greenhouse.

Uptake

The second sampling point is the returning (dirty) drain water. Measuring the nutrients in this water provides valuable insights into the crop’s nutrient uptake. Absence or high concentrations of certain elements indicate the specific needs of your crop, allowing you to adjust your nutrient dosing accordingly. This information can also trigger alerts for immediate action. It’s important to note that the type of substrate used can affect the delay in observing nutrient usage differences between irrigation and drainage.

Uptake

The second sampling point is the returning (dirty) drain water. Measuring the nutrients in this water provides valuable insights into the crop’s nutrient uptake. Absence or high concentrations of certain elements indicate the specific needs of your crop, allowing you to adjust your nutrient dosing accordingly. This information can also trigger alerts for immediate action. It’s important to note that the type of substrate used can affect the delay in observing nutrient usage differences between irrigation and drainage.

Dosing

The third measurement point is located just before the mixing tank and after any water treatment processes, such as ozone or UV treatment, if applicable. These treatments can alter the nutrient composition of the returning water. Instead of relying solely on an EC value, this measurement allows you to determine the exact nutrient content of the clean drain water intended for reuse. If you store drain water from multiple incoming lines (as mentioned in point 2) over more than a day, it’s recommended to measure at this point due to potential variations in nutrient concentrations. The concentrations measured here serve as the basis for incorporating clean drain water into the new dosing for the next irrigation cycle. If the concentrations at points 2 and 3 are identical, you can skip this measurement. The testing frequency at point 3 should ideally match your dosing frequency.

Dosing

The third measurement point is located just before the mixing tank and after any water treatment processes, such as ozone or UV treatment, if applicable. These treatments can alter the nutrient composition of the returning water. Instead of relying solely on an EC value, this measurement allows you to determine the exact nutrient content of the clean drain water intended for reuse. If you store drain water from multiple incoming lines (as mentioned in point 2) over more than a day, it’s recommended to measure at this point due to potential variations in nutrient concentrations. The concentrations measured here serve as the basis for incorporating clean drain water into the new dosing for the next irrigation cycle. If the concentrations at points 2 and 3 are identical, you can skip this measurement. The testing frequency at point 3 should ideally match your dosing frequency.

ULTIMATE GROWTH STRATEGY

The combined data from points 1, 2, and 3 provides comprehensive information crucial for your growth strategy and can be discussed in detail with your agronomist. If you wish to review these results with a CE-Line CLASS agronomist, feel free to reach out for their expertise and support.

Control

+

Uptake

+

Dosing

+

CE-LINE CLASS

=

Ultimate growth strategy

ULTIMATE GROWTH STRATEGY

 

The combined data from points 1, 2, and 3 provides comprehensive information crucial for your growth strategy and can be discussed in detail with your agronomist. If you wish to review these results with a CE-Line CLASS agronomist, feel free to reach out for their expertise and support.

installation-point-1

Control

+

installation-point-2

Uptake

+

installation-point-3

DOSING

+

CE-Line CLASS

CE-LINE CLASS

=

Ultimate growth strategy

Sampling frequency conditions

The described installation can be connected to a single CE-Line unit to monitor 1-3 different greenhouses or greenhouse sections. The more areas you sample, the lower the sampling frequency or the faster the liquids are emptied. On average, the system can handle 8 samples per 24 hours. A general guideline is to limit to 3 greenhouses or sections with individual nutrient recipes, resulting in 3 sections * 3 sample points = 9 samples per day. This setup ensures daily control, nutrient uptake monitoring, and precise dosing.

*A detailed installation plan will be provided before the system startup.