It’s full of IT technology here’ CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY ment were a four-row Puma3 bunker lifter from AVR and a four-row Varitron 470 bunker lifter from Grimme. Those of you who were present at PotatoEurope early on Thursday morning could just witness the start in the sunshine before the heavens opened. Thickly coated with soil and shiny with moisture, the Innovator potatoes tumbled over the lifter belts. ‘Under such conditions, it’s already totally impossible to measure a reliable yield’, AVR dealer Frank Maas knows from experience. ‘Actually, you can only carry out reasonably accurate yield measurements on the harvester on sandy soil, and if there’s no tare on the tubers. Weight sensors for gross product only The sensors of the YieldmasterPRO brand/type that measure the yield are two weighing cells mounted under the belt and/or bunker filler belt of the harvester. They are from the Precision Makers company in Giessen and weigh the total weight that rolls over the belt, so including the tare. With this system, you’ll never get a very accurate net yield measurement on clay and sandyloam soils. According to Maas, further techniques are needed here, cameras, Drone contractor and consultant As an example of an entrepreneur who is already working on data technology and precision farming, potato grower and drone contractor Peter Holster of Akkeranalyse was invited to hold a lecture for the students. His story dovetails seamlessly with the remark made by Götte about the link between data that has already been available for a longer time and the chronic lack of advice. ‘Until 5 years ago, there was hardly anyone in potato farming who could translate satellite or drone images into practical advice for the grower. Should you apply more or less fertiliser to spots that show less haulm growth? And when do you take action, what more information do you need to make the right decisions? Meanwhile, advice is there, thanks to the availability of more data and an increasing knowledge of agronomists. Holster is both of these. He has his own crop farm, a drone-aircraft with which he makes task maps for third parties and to which he then also links advice. And with him, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are emerging who set out with a drone and a lot of knowledge to bring potato cultivation to a higher level. An example of such ‘Until 5 years ago, there was hardly anyone in potato farming who could translate satellite or drone images into practical advice for the grower’, drone contractor Peter Holster knows. a fellow-entrepreneur is Jannick Pelle, who supervised the precision farming project at PotatoEurope. Already during his study period at the HAS University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch, he had plenty of work with his Precision Eagle. By Bart Götte: ‘If you still think that those farmers are behind the times, I can tell you that you’re making a big mistake. Agriculture is a forerunner when it comes to automation.’ Potato World 2017 • number 4 specifically focusing on developments relating to the data processing of camera images, he was quickly given the opportunity within the Case IH group to evolve as a specialist in precision farming. A good example for students who are still looking for a further study or a suitable job in agriculture and beyond. 19 Pagina 18

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