It’s full of IT technology here’ CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY are now able to see whether we can detect certain diseases on the basis of differences in the light reflection of potato plants. However, the problem is that the solar radiation isn’t always the same during the day. This results in different values in the reflection from the blade. So we first need a lot more data to be sure which spots on the map are symptoms for a certain disease. But I’m certain that we’ll be there in a few years’ time.’ No tare deduction yet for yield measuring on harvester The yield of the precision farming project on the Emmeloord site was determined by manually lifting forty samples prior to the mechanical harvest. Initially, however, the intention was to use precision measuring instruments to determine the yield on a number of harvesters during PotatoEurope and to compare them with each other. However, this plan was literally a washout. The harvesting conditions were too awful on Thursday and measuring yields was impossible, according to the participants in the harvest demonstration. The two harvesters that were there with the necessary equipLOTS OF INTEREST IN DATA TECHNOLOGY AND PRECISION FARMING FOR STUDENTS For students in the agricultural sector and/or students who would like to know more about it, Agrofoodcluster from Emmeloord organised a PotatoEurope student day on Thursday. During three interactive lectures in PotatoEurope 2017’s multi-functional room, students were able to contribute ideas and also discuss job opportunities in the potato sector, opportunities in data technology development and precision farming. In order to shake up the lecture room, filled with about a hundred students, guest speaker Bart Götte of Futurflock placed a list of jobs frequently available in the Netherlands on the screen. He then asked the students: does this list contain a job that you are not currently studying for? None of the students put up a hand. ‘Then I must disappoint you all, because in 20 years’ time none or hardly any of these jobs will exist any longer in the Netherlands. The tone was set and Götte was instantly the centre of attention. Because, of course, everyone wants to know which jobs are future-proof. ‘Have a really good look around this showground’, the experienced keynote speaker advises. ‘It’s full of IT technology here. Drones, GPS-controlled machines, measuring equipment with sensors, hyperspectral cameras, robots, everything for the future is here. If you still think that ‘It’s full of IT technology here. Drones, GPS-controlled machines, measuring equipment with sensors, hyperspectral cameras, robots, everything for the future is here’, guest speaker Bart Götte of Futurflock inspires the students. those farmers are lagging behind the times, I can tell you that you’re making a big mistake. Agriculture is a forerunner when it comes to automation. One of the reasons is that there are many benefits to be gained on many fronts, less work, more ease of use and better results. Another reason is that farmers have the space for testing techniques. Autonomous GPS control on the tractor has been around for a long time, for cars it’s still in the pilot phase. One of the reasons is that, in the field, you don’t have to deal with restrictions such as traffic rules.’ You’ll see, Götte tells the students, that farmers and businesses are already collecting a lot of data. ‘But you can’t do anything with data in itself. You’ll need to interpret it. This means that there are also a lot of advisors here who can do meaningful things with all that digital data. That’s what they need in agriculture in the future, and there’ll be plenty of work opportunities for it, IT developers, data translators and people who can link these things together. At Google and Apple they call this the Internet of Things. This makes sure that information from all the devices that produce data are put together. These systems are currently being developed’, says Götte. A good example of this is Ceres by Dacom, which is going to do exactly what the business futurist here is talking about. 18 Potato World 2017 • number 4 Pagina 17

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