Potato Review

www.potatoreview.com POTATO REVIEW MAY/JUNE 2020 19 TECHNOLOGY Crop groundcover and reference milestones are generated. Yields can be benchmarked. Yield development and tuber size distribution can be forecast. “With relevant variety-specific information, potato crops are predictable. This knowledge can be used by growers to improve crop performance, e ciency and overall yields.” Dr Robert Allen N.Sch, Technical Director Rates of grower sign-up for this season have been positive, particularly since the platformwas showcased at the LAMMA show in January. e company is continuing to invest in developing the product, adding new functionality and expanding variety-speci c data in 2020. Robert said: “We are focusing on seed, stem and tuber populations by introducing a seed module which will allow growers to plan seed rates based on crop targets, planting date and seed age. Post planting when achieved plant spacings and stem populations are con rmed the module will revise estimates of tuber populations and target yields.” Last year, a novel method for grading yield samples was tested using Bluetooth scales connected to the app. Users weighed individual tubers in the eld and Crop4Sight automatically sized the sample, allowing instant yield results and eliminated the need to carry heavy samples out of the eld. In 2020 prediction of tuber length will be included, an important metric for processing growers. Crop4Sight has an ongoing program of replicated plot trials generating variety speci c parameters used in the platform, meaning new varieties can be rapidly included into the software. It is working with Agrico to generate variety-speci c crop parameters for its new variety Jacky. is will aid Agrico in delivering e cient commercial production of new varieties. Paul said: “Our priority is to develop the product to deliver unique insights by combining variety speci c data with commercial purpose of the crop (e.g. crisping, fresh, processing or seed). We will continue to evaluate new technologies; for example, drone or satellite imagery. But any technology must allow us to ‘join the dots’ of variety speci c crop milestones across a season.” Helping the supply chain Crop4Sight can also be used by marketing businesses, cooperatives, packers and processors in the supply chain. Paul said: “If you are sourcing thousands of tonnes of potatoes each year, understanding the likely yield and size fractions in your growers base early in the season is vitally important. From a grower perspective it adds value to their customers. However, it’s entirely the grower’s choice to positively choose to share their crop data on an individual crop basis. “ e ultimate goal of maximising output and minimising inputs is something potato growers and supply chain can relate to and bene t from.”

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