It’s full of IT technology here’ CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY the purchase price of 149 euros is very low. However, there is a monthly subscription of 7.50 euros that comes with the sensors for processing the soil moisture data and for giving advice to the grower. When you purchase multiple sensors, a discount applies and this also applies to the monthly subscription. For example, ten soil moisture sensors cost 1,369 euros exclusive of VAT and the monthly fee for data traffic is 65 euros. Another new measuring instrument from Smartfarm is the Fieldmate. According to Braber, this is a simple weather station without buttons or wires. It measures the temperature and the relative humidity above and in the potato crop. It is also possible to measure the temperature at two depths in the soil, 5 and 20 centimetres below ground level. The Fieldmate also provides information about the dew point temperature, wet leaves, wind speed and direction, sunlight radiation and rainfall. Like the Soilmate, this instrument is cheap to buy and also has a monthly user fee. The one-off price is 69 euros and the monthly fee for data exchange is 19 euros. If you want to add a further crop protection module, you’ll pay an extra €9 per month. Some growers use the soil moisture sensors not only to determine when they should irrigate, but also to determine when it is optimal to fertilise or spray or, for example, to apply slug pellets. Cloudfarm as digital library Dacom is one of the agricultural companies that is trying to bring together software-based data such as soil moisture, growth, disease pressure, drone data and many more collected figures into one software package. The aim is to get a good overview of all the possible precision data that a potato grower can collect. This helps with making the right decisions in the cultivation process, so the financial yield can be improved. Data specialist Altjo Medema knows everything about that. From a stand that was fortunately still very busy despite the soggy showground, he presented two newly-developed products. ‘So far, there hasn’t been a data collection point for potato growers. Dacom is now building one. What we’re doing is creating a kind of digital library, both from data and from various maps.’ All this is possible with the DacomCloudfarm tool Potato World 2017 • number 4 21 Pagina 20

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