Proud British entrepreneurs continue to innovate even after Brexit CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY HarvestEye maps out the harvest immediately Another new step in precision farming is HarvestEye from B-Hive in Lincoln. This is a high-tech camera technology in combination with intelligent software for mounting on potato harvesters. During harvesting, a camera detects every passing potato like an all-seeing eye. The software counts them all, checks the size of each potato and converts it into a net tuber weight. All the data from the freshly harvested tubers is then very quickly available to anyone who is connected to the computer that processes it all. This could be the harvester/driver, but also the person who puts the potatoes into storage and even the buyer. Vidyanath Gururajan, Managing Director of B-Hive, a subsidiary of British potato trading company Brandston, explains that it is the first accurate measuring HarvestEye immediately maps out the potato harvest, explains Vidyanath Gururajan, Director of B-Hive. here in our home country, or in the rest of the world. Many also felt as if we were not allowed to place the British label on it. That’s an image we want to change, hence our outfit. We also want to show our fellow growers that we’re proud of our potatoes and that it’s high time to come together and spread the word. However, that doesn’t mean that he thinks that everything British is sacred. ‘Dutch seed is the best’, he says wholeheartedly. ‘The Dutch supply us with the best varieties with good resistances and high yields.’ This mainly concerns crisps and a smaller percentage of French-fry varieties. Schaap Holland, TPC and De Nijs are some of the Dutch trading companies with which Mercian does business to its full satisfaction. technique that can determine the net yield of the potato harvest. This applies to all the varieties for which measurement and weight data have been entered into the computer program in advance. ‘We’ve measured the weight and sizes of a wide range of varieties, which is how we know the net weight of each tuber size. If there’s soil attached to the tubers, the computer determines the net-size/shape of the potato on the basis of the part that’s not covered by soil. Because we’ve determined the size and weight of millions of tubers, HarvestEye’s measurement is very reliable. The advantage for both grower and buyer is that information such as grading, quantity and net yield are already accurately known during harvesting. This makes it possible to manage the processes in storage and sales more efficiently, which ultimately results in better returns throughout the chain. B-Hive has developed HarvestEye in collaboration with the harvester manu facturer Grimme and is currently only selling the system in Great Britain. The hardware, camera and computer, together cost about 12,000 British pounds, over 13,500 euros. The price for the software depends on which package you choose and this depends, among other things, on how many varieties you want your data to include. On the www.harvesteye.com website you can download a short video that explains HarvestEye for those who are interested. Potato World 2020 • number 2 37 Pagina 36

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