It’s full of IT technology here’ CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY and/or app, which is already available in Google Play. For example, it’s possible to place various data cards on top of each other to achieve a combined image. This can be done with a soil scan and a yield card so you can quickly see if there are similarities between good and bad spots in a plot and if there’s a relationship. What’s also useful is that you can use the app to navigate on your smartphone or tablet. If there’s a spot on the map that stands out because of the yield or the soil conditions, you can touch it on the screen and then walk or drive there to see or measure exactly what’s going on. Real precision farming! A next step is to create customised maps at a later stage and to enter the observations in Cloudfarm, explains Medema. It’s also possible to load all kinds of data from precision equipment into the tool, such as the field crop sprayer, fertiliser spreader, soil scanner, moisture meter and so on. For those who want to do so, you can also create a link with internet storage space such as Dropbox to store data from the Cloud Farm. This can later be used again in management programmes that the potato grower, consultant and/or contractor has. Dacom compiles all data in a growth model Another Dacom novelty is the Ceres growth model program. ‘The idea is to use all the data we can measure from and around a potato plant in order to make a yield forecast. That forecast is then not only based on aerial or spatial recordings but includes all the collected measurements and data, which all go into a calculation model. What data are we talking about? Then you need to think about what we can already measure in the air, soil and the plant itself. What solutions and minerals are in the soil, what’s the oxygen and CO2 exchange, the temperature of air and soil, hours of sunshine, radiation, moisture balance and much more. You can also view growth images of the crop, weather conditions, and disease pressure from our prediction programs and we can also add them. The program calculates the dry matter production in a ‘With the new Ceres program by Dacom, we have a digital solution that eliminates manual sampling in the field’, says Altjo Medema. potato plant and how much of it goes to stem, leaf, flower and tuber. This enables us to make the most reliable yield forecast possible throughout the entire growing season. A first spin-off has already started in which we’re working with data that’s been collected over 10 years. We’re currently working with a program for disease models, but growers still need to make growth observations in the field. With the new Ceres program this is no longer necessary. We have a digital solution that eliminates manual sampling in the field. You’ll appreciate that potato processors are also interested in this and we’re already talking to the first ones. This doesn’t mean that the grower never has to go into the field again. If the program detects a disease following the calculation or drone observation somewhere in the field, the grower will see this via a warning message on the app. We then ask the question: do you want to act on this or not? These warning messages are, of course, also conceivable for the moisture balance in the soil and the fertilisation condition of the potatoes.’ Medema expects that the program will eventually also be followed up with a view to including the storage of potatoes. After all, data on growth conditions is also useful for this. ‘If you can see that a crop has developed regularly, which the program shows, then the tubers will also remain stable in storage and you can adjust your storage regime based on that.’ ● Leo Hanse Potato World 2017 • number 4 23 Pagina 22

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