Cultivation/Production, Equipment/Technology, Fresh/ Table, Most viewed stories, News July 2024, North America, Smart Farming

AI meets agriculture: Canadian potato producer enhances crop monitoring with HarvestEye technology

Machine-learning driven crop insights tool HarvestEye has partnered with one of Prince Edward Island’s (PEI) prominent potato growers, G Visser & Sons, in the farm’s continued mission to provide the highest quality produce for the North American market.

G Visser & Sons has commenced using the HarvestEye system to monitor the size, shape and variability of potatoes on one of its packing lines, which sees 500 thousand pounds of produce pass through on a weekly basis. The system will aim to provide greater quality control to the grading process, complementing the manual work undertaken by sorters on the conveyer belt.

HarvestEye is a cost-effective method to deliver visibility – via an online portal – on root crop harvests, currently including potatoes and onions. The system can be fitted to grading equipment, harvest machinery for when the crop is being lifted, as well as a handheld system that can be used for in-field test digs.

Harry Tinson, general manager at HarvestEye, said: “Working closely with one of PEI’s top potato growing families, our relationship with G Visser & Sons provides an invaluable opportunity within the fresh produce market.”

“It enables us to broaden our understanding of how HarvestEye can support growers, packers and processors, particularly in respect to the challenges pertinent to PEI and other North American potato growing regions, from rich red soils unique to the island to tough conditions amid fluctuating temperature ranges.

“Having visited the G Visser & Sons team to begin our partnership, we saw a tremendous opportunity to forge a lasting relationship, as the business looks to innovate its operations while remaining true to its family values of sustainable farming.”

Adam Jay, chief operating officer at G Visser & Sons, said: “While we proudly rely on human intuition with our team of quality sorters, we were looking to implement a system that could provide a passive real-time monitoring tool to more quantifiably evaluate shrink, reducing the impact of potential human errors, such as how fatigue can lead to inconsistent performance.

“After initially attempting to develop our own optical system, we discovered HarvestEye while attending Fruit Logistica and were impressed by how the system could apply to our needs. Having now become accustomed to the system in operation on one of our packing lines, we have found HarvestEye’s daily reporting to be incredibly insightful.

“It is a tool that we believe can help us continue to provide the high quality products that our customers require and the data to help ensure that we optimize the return for the grower of each lot of potatoes.”

As the partnership develops, G Visser & Sons hopes to expand the integration of HarvestEye across more of its operations and generate a greater return on investment. This could include being set up on more lines in its pack plants, as well as implementing in the field on harvesting machinery, and using the Handheld system for test digs, to help assess crop progression, make yield and size forecasts, assist with harvest timing, etc.

Vidyanath (Vee) Gururajan, managing director of HarvestEye, said: “PEI is integral to the North American potato industry and by building relationships with established growers such as G Visser & Sons, who have a deep-rooted understanding of the growing landscape, we can continue to innovate the hardware and software elements of our product to offer even more bespoke support to customers.

“As HarvestEye continues to expand into the North American market, we are committed to interacting with more users on the ground through partnership and distributor relationships, enabling more opportunities and flexibility to trial, feedback and adopt the system.”

Growers, packers and processors are encouraged to secure subscription, rental and lease options on HarvestEye units. For more information, visit https://www.harvesteye.com/

Source: HarvestEye
Media contact:
Peter Mumford
peter@cartwrightcommunications.co.uk

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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