Can RFID Be Used to Track Plants in a Nursery?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Be Used to Track Plants in a Nursery?
RFID Journal Staff asked 10 years ago
I have a nursery, and am considering deploying radio frequency identification for inventory control. Would RFID tags hold up to weather? And if so, is there a specific tag or company for that application?

—Name withheld

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There are probably two ways to use RFID to track plants in a nursery. One would be to place a tag on each plastic pot containing a plant, while another would be to hang a tag off each plant itself.

In either case, you will likely require something more durable than a standard label, with either a passive high-frequency (HF) or passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) transponder in it. There are products available on the market.

Confidex, for instance, makes the Confidex Carrier, designed to adhere to plastic containers and withstand washings and weather. The company also produces the Confidex Pino, which could be affixed to a branch or a stem. Here’s a link to a page containing information about Confidex’s tags. In addition, there are other companies that manufacture products that would also work.

My suggestion would be to take a look at UHF tags, because they provider a longer read range and allow for faster inventory taking. There are several handheld RFID readers on the market, such as Motorola‘s MC3090-Z, which enables workers to take inventory rapidly. The RFID data could be uploaded to a standalone application, or be exported to a flat file that could then be imported to an existing application.

RFID Journal will soon be working with solutions providers to offer starter kits that will allow companies to evaluate such solutions.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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