Braingrid Ltd (CSE:BGRD) is keen to get the message out to growers and agriculturalists that its new focus on cultivation analytics means it can offer a service to clients other monitoring firms simply can't provide.
Toronto-listed Braingrid has developed a sensor platform called 'Sentroller' so that customers, predominately using greenhouses, can remotely monitor their crops and their surrounding environment, be it cannabis or other precision crops like fruit and vegetables, around the clock.
Every five minutes throughout the batch, the firm's Sentroller technology creates a micro-climate sensor network, to capture real-time data about the plants and their environment such as light quality, air quality and soil/substrate quality.
This data helps growers, QA (quality assessment) people and finance people record and understand the performance of their facility more easily.
The company has gone beyond simply monitoring and alarms and now offers new, targeted reports, which distill all the data the Sentrollers have collected.
Applying cultivation data science to the firm's huge data bank, collected over days, or even months, allows cultivators and their teams to fine tune and hone in best growing practices and why they work.
"As we see the market price continue its race to the bottom, we want the company to be known as a cultivation analytics company in precision agriculture making growers more efficient on yield," CEO Michael Kadonoff told Proactive.
"There are very few companies collecting data and even fewer deeply analyzing these mountains of data to generate consistency and efficiency - that's a very big distinction (between Braingrid and other companies) right now," explained the firm's boss and founder. "We're quite unique right now."
Each of the analytics reports compiles and processes huge amounts of data, applies numerous computer algorithms to deliver simple, one-page results on anything from powdery mold (PM) and spider mite (SM) risks to anomaly scores on roots and canopy conditions. There are currently six reports on offer costing the client $100 each.
Given that most cultivators, QA and finance people are not familiar with reports of this nature, Kadonoff explained that a typical client will be offered an initial report to encourage questions about how or why something was happening, thereby building trust and familiarity despite a market of hype and sensational claims.
This then leads the client to ask Braingrid for more reports and analysis, and therefore more revenue for the company.
Notably, Braingrid can also integrate other data or findings from third parties - not just its Sentroller - at a grow facility (eg, a greenhouse) and create reports from that too. Data sources include the building control or automation systems, irrigation systems, and others.
Kadonoff said the company aims to "collect and connect the data in one place for growers."
"There are too many systems to work with for these folks and it wastes their money and time," he added.
The firm has a few hundred or so systems currently deployed in Canada and the USA across a dozen sites but naturally wants to increase that number and ultimately be a global provider of the tech and a 'trusted partner' of precision growers around the world.
"There are a lot of growers in Canada but scale - for oils and extracts especially, will come from places like Columbia, Uruguay and Jamaica. I'm proud our systems work in any part of the world and can deliver results from anywhere to anywhere," Kadonoff added.
Further reports in works
Braingrid also has more reports in the works too to support producers, the most recent ones being developed to help QA people and finance people reduce the cost per gram due to electrical energy.
"Many customers are also starting to closely examine their bottom lines, which often means reducing their energy consumption. Energy consumption typically ranks as the second highest cost after personnel, so growers are looking for tools to understand utility consumption without compromising their yields" Kadonoff said.
To that end, Braingrid can monitor how energy is being utilized throughout the grow facility, by which equipment uses it, so costs can be kept down. The same consumption data allows Braingrid to develop algorithms that detect the early warning signs of equipment failure, to avoid unforeseen catastrophic downtime.
So, with big plans and big potential in this increasingly significant field of precision agriculture, Braingrid could well be an analytics firm to watch out for in forthcoming years.