A full season of winter greenhouse pepper production has been completed, putting the finishing touches on a milestone achievement for Allegro Acres and Sollum Technologies. Sollum’s SUN as a Service® (SUNaaS) cloud platform and AI-driven LED fixtures allowed Allegro Acres’ team to manage light recipes for multiple greenhouse zones to replicate summer sunshine during colder months.
Having a successful commercial yield of greenhouse peppers during the winter sets an important precedent in Canadian Agriculture. Allowing producers to manipulate the growing schedules of even the most finicky crops provides a necessary adaptation to changing climates, and a means of improving local production year-round.
Allegro Acres has earned a reputation as a leading greenhouse pepper producer in Ontario, but their president, @Gene Ingratta, admits that a big challenge for them and their industry has been controlling greenhouse lighting to the same level that other environmental factors can be managed. Having the ability to precisely manage and control lighting variables also means having the ability to experiment with adjusting light spectra and wavelength ratios. Shifting the pepper growing schedule to a winter one was not only new territory for the team at Allegro Acres, but for agronomists at Sollum as well.
Thanks to Sollum’s user friendly SUNaaS platform, lighting regimes could be changed to account for unforeseen challenges in Allegro Acres greenhouses – such as short pepper internodes and chlorosis. Additionally, thanks to Sollum’s Smart Support technicians, learning curves were easily overcome when it came to using the SUNaaS technology.
Extreme weather marked the past summer across Canada with industry disrupting heatwaves and frost events, putting into perspective just how important the success of Allegro Acres and Sollum’s partnership is. Shifting growing schedules can allow producers to adapt to the consequences of climate change and continue to meet the demands for local produce from their communities. Allegro Acres has expanded their operation under Sollum lighting by 3x and commenced the latest growing season even earlier in the year – be sure to check back for more developments as this story unfolds.