Mar 9, 2023
min read

AI-Driven Food Production: A Comprehensive Guide to Optimize Farms

The quality and cost-effectiveness of food production are crucial for its success. For farmers, a simple starting point is to use plug-in solutions like hexaOS, hexaBM, and hexaAPI.
Huijo Kim
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What are the latest technologies used in modern agriculture?

The implementation of AgTech can be observed across various types of farms around the world. Instead of physically walking through the fields, drones equipped with high-tech cameras and sensors are used to survey and map vast areas of farmland. This allows farmers to plan for future crop growth and identify any areas that need additional attention.

On a smaller scale, the internet of things (IoT) has introduced internet-connected sensors that are planted into the soil to record real-time information about the conditions of the soil. These sensors look like stakes and can track aspects such as temperature, humidity, and pH. This data provides farmers with insights into how to maintain healthy crops.

During harvest time, some farmers are even adopting autonomous driving, much like Tesla drivers. John Deere and other farm equipment companies offer fleets of fully automated combine harvesters that navigate enormous fields of high volume crops such as corn and soybeans. Utilizing advanced sensor technology and data collection, these automated harvesters can determine the best time to harvest and the most efficient method, while also considering crop health and variations.

Bringing Technology Indoors: hexafarms

IoT in Agtech

hexafarms' solution incorporates variations of precision agriculture technologies that are powered by their proprietary operating system, hexaOS, which acts as the central nervous system for every one of their farms. hexaOS receives information and data through external hardware, and based on that information, it makes decisions and directs mechanical processes. The integration of hardware, sensors, computer vision, machine learning, and software powers each hexafarms' ability to grow continuously and harvest efficiently. Don't worry if this seems overwhelming - we will explain it in greater detail below.

How AgTech Solutions Unlock Scale for hexafarms

If you were to stroll along the seemingly endless aisles of an indoor farm powered by hexafarms’ solution, you might question how each and every plant is cared for. It's a valid inquiry: it would require a considerable workforce to manage them all.

Fortunately, we have a vast network of sensors and cameras installed throughout the farm that acts as our plants' eyes and ears. This is how we track farm conditions such as light intensity, humidity, temperature, and nutrient levels from the moment the seed is planted until the harvest. This data is used by hexaOS to create the ultimate growing environment for your produce.

In addition to tracking plant health, these sensors and cameras enable hexafarms to create tailored farming conditions ideal for indoor growing environments. Since different leafy greens grow best in varying conditions, sensors in these specialized growing chambers function in conjunction with hexaOS to detect which crops are in specific zones and keep the conditions within a tight range that is vital to producing the tastiest greens.

dashboard for CEA
Dashboard expecting harvest and evaluating crops

hexaOS: Sustaining Your Flawless Farm

energy consumption comparison between plant batches
Farm energy consumption comparison between different setup

At hexafarms, the key to our AgTech success is the seamless integration of hardware and software to automatically produce accurate farming conditions. Our sensors and computer vision systems collect data that is processed by machine learning algorithms within the hexaOS in real-time.

This information is used to evaluate plant health and farm conditions, and any necessary adjustments are made accordingly. These modifications are then implemented at the plant level by hardware located in the grow room.

Energy consumption analysis is essential in indoor farming to optimize energy usage, reduce costs, manage resources, minimize environmental impact, maximize crop yields, and plan for future expansions or upgrades. Indoor farming requires a lot of energy inputs to power lighting, ventilation, and other systems, making energy consumption analysis crucial to identifying areas for energy reduction and waste reduction.

It is integrated with hexaBM which can track the growth and health of plants. So, the optimal growth condition can be derived using AI.

hexaBM: Benchmarking by Connecting All Processes

hexaBM module in hexaOS continuously reviews thousands of environmental conditions also called "recipes" for crops and makes adjustments to optimize crop yields.

Crops have different ideal growing conditions based on their growth phases, such as right after the seedling phase, during germination, and main growth phase. hexaBM tracks these various environmental conditions per “batch”. Besides this, the extra information is saved per batch, i.e. source of seeds, to optimize future learning.

plants growing environment tracking

In the end, it tracks the environment and setup the plant has been through and analyzes and compares based on this.

recipes per grow stage
Tracking the plants growing environment

hexaAPI: Power of AI into Your Data-Pipeline

hexaAPI enables any software capable of implementing farming-specific AI to integrate with hexafarms' AI. By opening up endpoints to other developers, hexafarms' AI can be incorporated into your farming solutions. If your farm already has a monitoring and control system that you do not want to replace with hexaOS, hexaAPI is the perfect middle ground.

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Final Thoughts: Still room for growth in how we produce food

This time, how hexafarms can fill the room with its exclusive systems is discussed.

hexaOS integrates hardware, sensors, computer vision, machine learning, and software to cultivate crops in a resource-efficient and sustainable manner.

hexaBM tracks the batch’s environmental conditions to enhance crop growth

hexaAPI enables developers to plugin hexafarms' AI into their own software.