At the sharp end of the season, potato maincrops might be increasing or decreasing in value by as much as £100/ha/day as yields increase and segment proportions change, writes Mike Abram in this article published by Farmers Weekly in the UK. Harvest too early and yields are unlikely to be maximised; harvest too late and a higher proportion of the crop might be oversized and subject to a lower price.
This is why the decision on when to initiate burndown is one of the most crucial a potato grower makes. Traditionally, that is based on test digs across the field every couple of weeks, plus a good dollop of experience.
But even with experience, it’s very easy to miss value, suggests Paul Coleman, managing director of Crop4Sight. “It’s all about improving the saleable potato yield for the grower and getting a bigger percentage of the crop into that fraction,” he says.
Crop4Sight, part of the Produce Investments group, which also includes Greenvale AP, is a start-up technology company aiming to help potato growers optimise saleable crop yields in season. Minimising the workload required from growers to make the service as user-friendly as possible is a key part of Crop4Sight’s strategy.
Source: Farmers Weekly. Full article here
Photo: Tim Scrivener