Sander Uwland, Crop Advisor for potatoes, Bayer CropScience NL
What was the market situation?
The Netherlands is among the world’s top ten producers of potatoes, with an annual output of around eight million tons. Key players in the Dutch value chain for potatoes are aware of consumer demand for more sustainably produced food and environmentally sound agronomic practices. This was the background to the food chain project based on a biological fungicide, Serenade®, which aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of this environmentally friendly crop protection product.
Jan Eric Geersing, Geersing Potato Specialist
What was the solution?
Digital farming methods were used to track in real time the modifications Serenade® made to the soil and crop conditions. Drones flew over the potato fields, applying thermal imaging technology to capture the temperature of the crop, while multispectral imaging detected crop growth and photosynthesis. In tandem with this, static sensors collected and transmitted real-time data on soil moisture and temperature levels. All these data were transmitted to the farmers involved in the project. Moreover, a unique quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology was applied to track and trace the ability of the bacteria in Serenade® to colonize the roots. By leveraging these relatively new tools and technologies, learning was accelerated, inter-farmer exchange enhanced, and the sharing of individual experiences among farmers facilitated. Post-harvest, the total output, marketable yield and grading, including visible tuber quality and tuber quality based on full mineral analysis, were assessed in detail.