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IoT catches on in New England fishing town

Michelle Davidson | Sept. 7, 2016
Businesses in and around New Bedford, Massachusetts, discover the power of IoT-enabled sensors to improve farming, fishing and even winemaking

It’s like a data center in a box—able to remotely monitor humidity, sunlight hours, moisture and wind speed.

Skott Rebello, production manager at Salt Creek, says knowing the amount of sunlight hours determines when the vineyard can begin its harvest, and knowing the wind speed determines whether conditions are good enough to spray pesticide.

The vineyard plans to add soil monitoring sensors and would like to add leaf analysis to help with preventive care of the vines.

Location 2:

At the location where Salt Creek plans to put its wine making facility, the vineyard monitors the quality of its water supply: pH level and temperature. 

Knowing the correct pH level allows Rebello to accurately treat the water before spraying onto the vines. Spraying improperly treated water could destroy the vines.

All of the data is transferred into software—a dashboard—where it can be monitored and tracked.

Once wine making production begins, the vineyard will use sensors in the tanks to measure temperature, pH and other conditions.

Quansett Nurseries, South Dartmouth, Mass.

quansett nursery microgreen greenhouse
Quansett Nurseries use IoT-enabled sensors and Dell V5 gateway to measure light, moisture and heat in the many different zones of the greenhouse used to grow microgreens.

Growing plants year-round in New England is a tricky business. Changing seasons means nurseries have to constantly monitor their growing environments and adjust them. Plus, they need to monitor their water supply, which during a dry summer can drop to unnerving levels.

At Quansett Nurseries, a wholesale grower, Fred Dabney uses sensors in each of his two wells to monitor water levels. By knowing the levels, he can decide which well to use to water the plants. He can adjust and switch between wells so he doesn’t stress either of them.

The nursery uses sensors with a Dell V5 gateway in its greenhouse that grows microgreens. The sensors measure light, moisture and heat in the many different zones in the building. Each plant has different needs, and the sensors help the nursery ensure they provide the perfect climate for them.

The sensors control venting. When it gets too hot, the vents open and a curtain covers the inside of the roof. When it gets too cool, the vents close and the curtain remains off.

Under the microgreen beds, there are water tubes. If warmth is needed to germinate the seeds, they run hot water through the tubes.

The nursery also uses sensors in its hoop houses – sensors to monitor activity (motion), temperature, humidity, UV and sunlight.

The data, which is transmitted to a dashboard, helps Dabney provide optimal growing environments for the plants. 


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