Introduction

A HortiBench Plant Production Profile shows the production or growing cycle of a specific plant. It includes the lead time of every phase of the production process measured in days or weeks. For each production phase it includes the climatological environment the plant requires, the materials used to produce the plant and the specific treatments and operations on the plant. In short, it is a complete recipe for the production of the plant. The total production cycle can be split up in one or more production phases which can be freely chosen to reflect your nursery operations. Production phases are usually chosen to reflect specific growing conditions. These conditions can be either a physical plant stage, a certain growing environment or just a series of operations. One production profile is used for the entire production cycle. You can use different production profiles for each different species you grow, or you can use the same production profile for a group of plants. One production profile can be used to grow a certain species from seed while another version of the production profile is used to grow the same species from plugs or young plants. The system is totally flexible and can be generalised or detailed as much as you require.

Growers Knowledge

A Plant Production Profile can be used by you, the grower to define and record your growing knowledge and experience about certain plant varieties. The Plant Production Profile reflects the information of how to grow a plant. By defining these Plant Production Profiles for the range of plants you grow, you will have a record of all the growing knowledge of the nursery which can be accessed by other members of staff whenever the grower is not available.

Actual Data Registration

All production planning and control within the HortiBench software is based around the Plant Production Profiles and you can therefore easily copy them from one plant variety to another. You can also allocate a single Production Profile for a whole group of plants. Production Profiles can be tweaked to exactly reflect the measures and timings used on your nursery. After a production plan has been made and put in place, you can save the actual information and use it to tweak the original Plant Production Profile. This will result in better and more accurate planning for the next batch of plants or for the next growing season.

Exchanging Profiles

Plant Production Profiles can also be exchanged between nurseries to exchange growing information. For example: a nurseryman who talks with another grower who faces some challenges growing a specific species can simply give him his Production Profile on a USB stick or send it to him by email. The grower can view the Plant Production Profile with HortiBench and see all the detailed growing information. He can then also link it into his HortiBench schedule and base his production, staff and space planning for that variety on it.

Product Guidance

Suppliers of seeds, plugs, starter plants, fertiliser and many other products can supply their customers with Plant Production Profiles to give them guidance on the use of their product. For example: a seed supplier with a new variety can promote its adaptation by growers by supplying them with a Plant Production Profile which tells them in detail how to grow the new variety, from germination rates to phase timings and temperature settings. A fertiliser manufacturer can supply Plant Production Profiles to his customers for the species and pot/tray sizes they grow which has exact measures of fertiliser to use and at which stage. If these customers then record their actual growing information in the Plant Production Profile, this can be used as feedback to the supplier for evaluation purposes. Production Profiles can be uploaded and downloaded from the web site which has a repository for them. We can imagine that growers, suppliers and grower organisations will add to the catalogue and build and tweak Production Profiles for different climatic regions. Since the information in a Production Profile can be highly sensitive to the grower we have developed an encryption and password protection facility. If needed, Plant Production Profiles can be protected, and read only by the people who have the password.