Smart Farming

British potato grower makes huge efficiencies with mobile app

An organic vegetable farmer from Shropshire has made efficiency savings of more than 25% while almost doubling the land he manages for potatoes thanks to a new app. As FarmingUK reports, Nick Taylor, who farms at Home Farm, has been instrumental in developing Crop4Sight, and is now using the platform to realise ‘massive efficiencies’ in his business.

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I-Feeder Technologies: Serving the need for precision irrigation solutions

I-Feeder Technologies, a leader in state-of-the-art dosing systems, has grown to serve the need for integrated precision irrigation technologies in terms of software and hardware solutions. The I-Feeder fertigation system is supplied as a turnkey operational system, meaning no additional sourcing is required and ensures correct installation, designed to be easy and simple.

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Philippine potato project supports growers with Canadian seed and training

A project run by Universal Robina Corp (URC) and the Philippine government has provided a valuable boost to the country’s potato growers during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018 URC partnered with the government to launch the Sustainable Potato Programme to provide growers with quality potato seed, training and research.

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‘Basics of irrigation’ the theme of next World Potato Congress webinar

The World Potato Congress is pleased to announce the resumption of its webinar series. Its first Fall webinar will feature a presentation by Yechiam Gets, Crop Model Agronomist with Netafim. It is scheduled for November 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time (USA/Canada). The presentation is titled “Basics of irrigation for processing potatoes and irrigation scheduling”.

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Essential tips for successful long-term potato storage

Bayer Crop Science in the UK posted an article on their blog earlier this week related to potato storage good practices. The article focuses on five main considerations for growers, saying that there is more to the long-term storage of potatoes than sprout suppressants. These considerations include store hygiene, box stacking, air movement, store intake and tuber diseases.

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‘Root Zero’: Carbon neutral potatoes from Puffin Produce a UK first

The home of the much-loved Pembrokeshire potato has added a new iconic product to supermarket shelves with the launch of the UK’s first carbon neutral potato. ‘Root Zero’ planet friendly potatoes are grown in Pembrokeshire by Puffin Produce. The spuds are certified carbon neutral and grown using sustainable farming practices to remove carbon dioxide, create healthy soil and increase local biodiversity.

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Analysis: Importance of science and technology in modern farming

Scientific discoveries and technological novelties greatly assist agribusiness, making it faster, more accurate, cost-effective, and efficient. At the disposal of present-day farmers, there are eco-friendly techniques, smart machinery and robots, resilient planting materials, and advanced sensors. While scientific and technological advancements improve current farming practices, agricultural challenges nurture scientists’ zest for yet more beneficial contributions in the future.

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Specialist shares views on cover crops, soil health and fertility

On this episode of the SpudChat podcast, Ryan Barrett, Research Coordinator and Project Lead, Agronomy Initiative at the Board talks to Dr. Judith Nyiraneza with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Charlottetown about some of her research projects, including cover cropping, building soil health and fertility through rotation crops, measuring the effect of manure in potato rotations, and more.

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Monitoring project proves successful for potato tuber moth management in South Africa

Potato tuber moth can be a potato producer’s nightmare. InteliGro in South Africa devised an effective monitoring system not only help to control this pest successfully, but allows producers to manage risks and reduce input costs over time. The project has since gained tremendous momentum and is currently an integral part of the service and decision-making support InteliGro offers in South Africa’s Sandveld potato-production region.

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XAG demonstrates potential of fully autonomous drones for potato farmers

Flying into the Andes mountains of Ecuador, XAG Agricultural Drones are recently introduced to a series of on-farm spray trials for high-altitude specialty crops. The demonstrations on potato fields have presented the high potential of fully autonomous drones in reducing labour cost and agricultural pesticide exposure. The agile agricultural drone would be a powerful tool to promote sustainable farming in Ecuador’s 3.2 million hectares of cultivable soil.

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‘Nuru’: An AI-powered phone app for African farmers expanded to include potato diseases

Because potato growers need to identify and manage diseases in their fields, the AI-powered mobile app PlantVillage Nuru has been expanded to include them also. More than two million farmers in East Africa who depend on potatoes will be able to point their smartphones at a plant and receive an instant disease diagnosis through the app. It has been expanded to include potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans) and early blight (Alternaria solani).

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Expert advice on operating equipment for harvest and loading into storage

The bulk of harvest is just ahead of us and here are a few reminders on operating equipment for handling the new crop. Regardless of how experienced at operating equipment, a few friendly reminders can always be helpful to minimize bruise, say potato specialists Nora Olsen and Mike Thornton in this article published by Potato Grower magazine.

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Specialists advise potato growers on crop cleaning prior to storage

Prepping your potatoes for storage depends on smart harvesting and effective cleaning. Engineers at Lockwood Manufacturing in the US say everyone knows digging too warm, too cold and too wet are all bad news for long-term storage, as is allowing your tubers to drop and bruise during harvest. However, they point out that putting your potatoes into storage in less than clean condition is just as costly in the long run. New cleaning options exist.

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Colorado beetle catcher deals with ‘lazy potato pest’

Potato growers and agricultural machine builders in Biddinghuizen in the Netherlands have come up with a way to deal with colorado potato beetles without using pesticides. Infestations by colorado beetles, a North American import, have been increasing in Europe because of rising temperatures. To remove the colorado beetle and its ravenous larvae, all the farmer has to do is to attach a custom built machine with rotating plastic flaps to a tractor and swat them off the plants.

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Alternative potato crop desiccation technology awarded

crop.zone, the new hybrid electric solution for alternative crop desiccation and weed management, has been voted the most innovative new technology in potato production by potato professionals worldwide. In addition to the Audience Award, NUCROP won the silver medal at the Potato Europe Innovation Awards out of 30 entries. Both prizes were presented on 1 September 2021 in Lelystad, the Netherlands.

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Kenyan research station banking on high quality potato seed production and distribution

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) is banking on a high quality potato seed production and distribution deal with Syngenta Foundation to increase production five times to 10 million tons annually. The deal involves increasing high quality certified potato seed availability to farmers by 25 percent through rapid multiplication, increased field seed bulking, and capacity building of commercial seed growers in the country.

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CropX and PepsiCo México to help Latin American potato farmers to improve farm management practices

AgAnalytics company CropX and PepsiCo México expand their collaboration to help PepsiCo’s Mexican potato farmers reduce water and fertilizer consumption, improve soil health, lower greenhouse emissions and improve crop yields. By collaborating with CropX, PepsiCo can now help growers in Latin America improve farm input application efficiency and become environmentally sustainable.

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Britain’s ‘Particularly Good Potatoes’ company serves up particularly tasty chips

Fish and chip shop owners and restaurateurs in Britain’s Northumberland area have recently been to see where one of their key produce comes from. They were joined by farmers, agricultural students and agronomists on a site visit to Particularly Good Potatoes, based at Turvelaws Farm, Wooler. Up to 60 varieties grown on trial for chipping, crisping and roasting were on display.

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Spud advice: Managing nutrition during tuber bulking crucial

With tuber bulking being such a critical, yet energy sapping period in potato crop development, now is the time to consider nutrition applications to support crop health and maintain tuber growth. If crops are lacking potassium and sulphur at cell expansion during tuber bulking this can lead to various issues, pointed out FMC crop nutrition technical manager, Chris Bond.

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Harvesting best practices: Equipment specialist provides practical tips

There’s nothing worse than seeing the crop you’ve invested all season growing get bruised, nicked or otherwise compromised during harvest. Albert Hewitt, Equipment Sales Specialist at LOCKWOOD Manufacturing provides his top tips to ensure growers’ crops comes through harvest in the best possible condition.

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Video: ‘The incredible farms being run from space’

Farming may be among the last industries to undergo a digital revolution, but the changes are arguably going to be further reaching than anything we’ve seen so far. In this in-depth video by the BBC’s ‘Follow the Food’ program, it is said that farming’s digital revolution has potential for both business and the planet. The aim of the transformation is to produce more food from farming with less.

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CropX acquired Dutch-based Dacom Farm Intelligence

CropX, the Israel-based company that produced the world’s first and do-it-yourself (“DIY”) farm management platform based on real-time soil data, announced recently that it acquired Dacom, headquartered in Groningen, the Netherlands. CropX says in a news release that this follows its acquisitions in 2020 of Nebraska based CropMetrics and New-Zealand based ReGen. CropX says: “We’re always excited to join new teams and technologies to the CropX family and continue our search in that respect – all with the goal of providing the best value for our customers.”

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Benefit of cover crops: Covering up weed seeds

Cover crops are not free, but they don’t have to be a cost. In fact, they can save farmers money. Researchers and farmers talked about the benefits during a recent session hosted by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association in Canada. While there is always variability, weed suppression and population reduction are the chief – though not necessarily only – ways cover crops can better a farm’s bottom line.

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Introducing ‘EarthScout’: Crop management sensing technology for data-driven farming

In an effort to provide growers with predictive, real-time field datato help them better manage their time and resources, EarthScout® GBC is officially entering the precision agriculture field. EarthScout’s founders along with a team of leading agronomists, precision agriculturalists, and technologists worked alongside growers to develop an in-field sensing technology that collects predictive micro-climate and soil data and shares it wirelessly via a mobile app.

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