A â€œgame-changingâ€ project for seed potato producers is one of six projects to share new grant funding of Â£438,000 from the European Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP).
The TuberZone project, centred on Montrose-based Grampian Growers, Scotlandâ€™s Rural College (SRUC) and Angus-based Soil Essentials, has received Â£74,712 to help growers determine the ideal burn-down date for the variety Gemson, by using the latest satellite technology.
Four farms took part in trials last year using a combination of aerial drone footage and manual trial digs, and this year the project has been scaled up to 78 growers stretching from the Black Isle to southern Perthshire.
Grampian Growers managing director Mark Clark said the wider industry and other potato varieties stood to benefit from the trials.
â€œThis is about utilising new smart technology to replace manual digs and visual assessment,â€ he said.
â€œSatellites are now doing 85% of what the drones were doing and eventually drones will be entirely replaced.â€
[The Tuberzone project is said to address the benefits of using precision technology to optimise the value of seed potato crops.Â Editor PNT]