CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY Ten tons extra within five years should be possible with precision technology and cultivation optimisation more profitable. Everything extra that you apply to the sandy areas won’t result in more growth, which means a waste of money’, Van der Wekken indicates. Yield measuring on the lifter as well Another yield measurement will follow at the end of the season. This will be carried out both manually and on the lifter. ‘We already installed and tried out a yield meter on the lifter last autumn, which worked fine. Our AVR Puma had weighing sensors installed for that purpose, under the transport belt to the bunker. The lifting conditions were good, and measuring was therefore reasonably accurate. It’s not such a big problem really if you’ve got a little bit more soil tare in the product when lifting conditions are less favourable. We’ve mapped out exactly where the heavier and the lighter plot sections are. If you know the tare percentage, you can easily calculate the net yield for each plot section afterwards. For us, the yield differences between the plot sections are more important than the exact total. Because, with that information, we can gear more accurately to cultivation measures such as planting distance and fertiliser applications in later years’, believes Van der Wekken. For him, lifting in the autumn is a moment that is just as beautiful as the fascinating Because of the enormous differences in the yield potential in the potato plots in Burgh-Haamstede, the planting distance varies up to 10 centimetres. emergence of the crop in the spring. ‘The potato for me is the most wonderful crop there is, and all that new technology makes it even better’, the Thes Agro employee says with a big smile, while digging in the ridge to check whether there are more plants coming up in a bare part of the ridge.● Leo Hanse ‘Now that the potato plants have just emerged, we need to monitor their growth accurately for the rest of the growing season’, says Johan van der Wekken. Anton Slootweg (l) and Randy Wilbrink (r), both employed by Van Iperen give advice on cultivation matters. Potato World 2017 • number 3 39 Pagina 42

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