The potatoes that will be used in the live harvesting demonstrations during the PotatoEurope trade show, which will take place on 13 and 14 September in Emmeloord, the Netherlands, have been planted.
The mayor of Noordoostpolder himself, Aucke van der Werff, took place in the telehandler to throw a load of seed potatoes in the Miedema planter to get the planting underway. The planting machines from Grimme and Dewulf-Miedema handled the job with precision, aided by Case IH tractors.
Facts & figures
The chosen potato variety is called Innovator, 35-45 millimetres in size and with a spacing of 30 centimetres. The potatoes are being grown on a 30-hectare site belonging to the Aeres Landbouwbouwbedrijf farm, where the trade show and live demos will be held on 13 and 14 September.
The theme of PotatoEurope 2017 is ‘Potatoes Feed and Meet the World’. The event itself will form the meeting point referred to in this theme. Besides that, the potato is already an important foodstuff and is set to become even more important in the future. To be able to feed the future world population the yield per hectare must be increased, primarily through precision agriculture.
Jannick Pelle of Hamoen-Tractoren presented the Precision project in the cultivation of the potatoes of PotatoEurope
The trade event is aimed at giving visitors practical tools and insights for precision agriculture in order to take the entire potato chain, both nationally and internationally, to the next level. In this context, the organisers have worked with main sponsor Case IH, Aeres University of Applied Sciences and Agrifirm, among others, to initiate a large-scale precision agriculture project.
At PotatoEurope, potatoes grown in the conventional way will be compared with potatoes grown using precision agriculture methods on an area comprising over 20 hectares, which is truly unique. In addition, there will be a live demo of controlled traffic farming with a lane width of 3.15 metres.
The precision farming project is being conducted using the Case IH system. During ploughing, the Case IH Advance Farming System (AFS) was used to determine the soil resistance. This enabled a prescription map to be produced as the basis for variable potato planting. The crop will be monitored throughout the production season by an unmanned aerial vehicle, the Precision Hawk.
The drone is fitted with high-tech cameras enabling the capture of data such as the height and quantity of the plants, the growth index and much more. The images will be processed using particular algorithms and the results will be converted into prescription maps. The potatoes that are planted variably will also be fertilised variably.
At the end of the season, location-specific haulm killing will take place. The final cost-price calculations including a practical plan of attack will be presented at PotatoEurope, revealing the differences between precision agriculture and the conventional production methods.