Potato World vision PW-ACTUA Put out the flags ‘We were recently selected by McDonald’s as its Flagship Farm. Fantastic appreciation for this pioneering role, thanks in part to the use of sustainable precision techniques. My brother Jan and I are, of course, really proud and we also thank our parents who laid the basis for this. Things like this don’t happen automatically. To achieve the position of a flagship, you first have to put out a lot of smaller flags before you can reach the ultimate goal: the highest possible potato yield per hectare. Over the years I’ve learned that Mother Nature does 25% of the work, the rest is the craftsmanship of the farmer. And that can only be achieved with the help of measuring. Why? Simply because we don’t yet have sufficient knowledge of soil and crops. Now we’re lucky enough to have had digital data from satellites, drones and sensors on our machines for some years now. This enables us to save time on monitoring large volumes and processes in and around the cultivation process. A very important factor in this process is the number of stems. The more stems you have, the more sunlight they capture, the more starch they produce, ultimately resulting in a high tuber yield. In our ‘Making Sense’ trial field, which we’ve been working with and monitoring since 2010, we carry out both fertilisation tests and stem number measurements. The rational aim is: 100 tons of tuber yield per hectare. We started 7 years ago with 135,000 stems per hectare, which is normal for a variety like Fontane. However, that turned out to be far too little. By persistent measuring we found that, at least until the end of the growing season, we need to have 175,000 stems per hectare in the ridge in order to achieve the desired top yield. In order to get that many stems, however, you need more seed and a tighter planting distance. In 2016, we managed to have 170,000 stems emerge and keep 150,000 of them per hectare. This means that we still have some way to go before we can put out a flag for 100 tons per hectare.’ Jacob van den Borne Van den Borne Potatoes, Reusel Mechatec presents new box filler The BF 280 Box Filler, as the new Mechatec machine is called, is more product friendly and also has more capacity than the previous models of the brand. Machine manufacturer Mechatec from Tollebeek launched a new box filler at PotatoEurope 2017 in Emmeloord. The BF 280 Box Filler, as the new machine is called, is more product friendly and also has more capacity than the previous models of the brand. According to Mechatec, the new box filler processes up to 280 cubic metres of product per hour. The machine combines this with a remarkably slow belt speed. It is possible to always have a thick layer of potatoes on the belt. Thanks to Dynamic Flow Control, the product flow is smooth and there is no damage. Drop heights are also limited for the potato flows from the side as well as from the rear. Filling layer by layer directly into the box ensures a perfect, even distribution and guarantees excellent air circulation. This is possible thanks to the installation of a wide belt, which allows for even, flat filling right into the corners of the boxes. The boxes can be filled either by height or by weight. It is also possible to use the shake mechanism to give an even level of product in the box. All settings, including the shaking intensity, can be easily adjusted via the touch screen on the BF 280 Box Filler. It is also possible to link the registration of filling data to a company registration system. Since the weighing system is placed underneath the box, big bags can also be filled by weight. The filling machine is available in stand-alone as well as in the Boxmaster version, which has a stacker. ● Potato World 2017 • number 4 9 Pagina 8

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