A pair of researchers from University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are partnering with a Washington company to develop a solar-powered robot that will rove autonomously through farm fields and eradicate weeds. The company behind the project, Aigen, based in Kirkland, Washington, hopes to have a prototype of the robot finished by late this summer. The robot will have wheels and will be roughly the size of a shopping cart, rolling between rows in farm fields before crop canopies close.
Eamonn Cullen, Market Manager Peeling at TOMRA Food, analyzes in this article the market situation and some of the challenges faced by potato processors, such as reducing food waste and energy use in the processing line, and explains how TOMRA Food addresses these issues.
Liwayway Marketing Corporation, with its brand Oishi and more than 100 product varieties, is one of the leading snack companies in Asia. From its humble beginnings of “gawgaw” and coffee 70 years ago, it has taken on bigger and more exciting adventures. In 2021, a first Elea PEF Advantage B1 system has been installed in Liwayway´s potato chips line in close cooperation with Elea’s regional partner for China Beijing Lenno Trade Co., Ltd.
A new take on windrowers: Scotts innovates with novel conversion kit for GRIMME GT 170 trailed harvesters
Scotts Precision Manufacturing, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of vegetable harvesting equipment, takes pride in the launch of its innovative GT 170 Windrower Conversion kit. The kit allows owners of the GRIMME GT 170 trailed harvester to convert seamlessly into a fully functioning windrower without modifications to the host machine.
In the second of two articles, potato storage specialist Adrian Cunnington of Potato Storage Insight (PSI) homes in on how to compile an accurate cost estimate. Ultimately all of those things are dependent on the basic cost of running a storage set-up, Adrian says, and it is important to have a really good grasp of what those costs are. “There is perhaps no time in the history of modern potato storage as we know it when costs have been so pressurised,” he says.
Dewulf presents a couple of innovations for the Structural 4000 within its planting range. This 4-row Miedema Structural belt planter is now available as Smart-Float, previously known for the CP 42 cup planter. This innovation is made possible by an automatic depth control system (Smart-Float). As a second innovation, Dewulf is pleased to announce a portal steering system for the Structural 4000.
Designed to automate the removal of stone, clod and foreign debris from potatoes and help growers cope with labour shortages, demonstrations of the new PRO Sort are now being organised in the UK. GRIMME UK and Haith worked together on its development. As the PRO Sort is a modular unit, it can be used either in the field or on a farm and be easily integrated into a new or existing grading line. At the heart of the PRO Sort is a TOMRA 3A optical sorter.
Greentronics is excited to announce that integration of its RightYield product with John Deere series GS3 and now also GS4 is available. “Greentronics yield monitors are designed for root crop and vegetable harvesters,” says Bill Menkveld of Greentronics Ltd. Growers use yield maps in combination with soil and fertility maps to study and manage variability in their fields and generate report cards on their progress. By applying break-even points, yield maps can indicate areas with profit and loss.
A new $69 million dollar solar farm is taking shape in Summerside, a little city on Prince Edward Island in Canada – population about 15,000 people. The solar farm is reportedly covering 30 hectares, and, by the end of this year, featuring more than 65,000 solar panels. The project is called Sunbank, and the city is banking on it moving them one step closer to energy self-sufficiency.
Introducing evapotranspiration and growing degree days as new features for the KestrelMet weather station
The recently introduced KestrelMet 6000 AG Weather Station has been updated to provide growers with field-specific data related to evapotranspiration and growing degree days — key factors in managing for enhanced crop performance and more efficient irrigation.
Root Extracts: Sustainable venture pioneers a new supply chain for outgrade potatoes and peeling waste
Revolutionising the potato production supply chain, root crop R&D agri-tech firm B-hive Innovations has developed Root Extracts Ltd. The venture will extract plant-based protein from outgrade potatoes and peeling waste, as part of a first-of-its-kind sustainable initiative, which will improve profits and reduce tuber waste before it even hits the shelves.
Shaping beds and preventing weed growth mechanically has never been easier than with AVR’s Combi machine, the company says in a news article. The AVR Combi machine effortlessly combines three functions in one frame: ecoridger, speedridger and weeder. By simply switching components, the machine operator can choose which function to employ.
TOMRA Food has published a new eBook to help food processors and packers enhance efficiencies and profitability by using information gathered by sorting machines. The easy-to-read, 21-page booklet, titled ‘When Sorters Become Data Generating Machines’, explains how businesses can “connect to possibilities” with the TOMRA Insight data platform, and the competitive advantages this gives.
Kanaan, Croatia’s largest snack producer, and Elea recently ran a test project with an Elea PEF Advantage system to evaluate the PEF impact on product yield and quality. The test proved to be highly successful. Kanaan then went ahead and installed a state-of-the-art Elea PEF Advantage B1 system.
In a recently published article, specialists at Dutch based Ellips grading technology company, Erwin Bakker (CEO) and John Albert (GM Ellips USA) discuss in detail how advanced equipment and technology can help potato companies to overcome five of the most common challenges associated with efficient sorting and grading.
International economist Steven Cerier writes in this article, published by Genetic Literacy Project, that agriculture must become more productive to feed a growing world population. This can only be accomplished by the further application of science and technology, “and not as some suggest by going backwards in time to a much simpler and idealized form of farming that shuns the use of biotechnology and technological advances such as artificial intelligence (AI), drones, robots and microchips…”
The Fry Factory: Canadian entrepreneur builds specialized potato cutting machines for restaurant chains
Entrepreneur Hamid Sanayie on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) is continuing to make his mark on the french fry world with two new one-of-a-kind potato cutting machines. He has built the world’s first automatic wedge cutting machine for use by restauranteurs, and a second revolutionary machine to create crinkle-cut fries.
HarvestEye – a machine-learning driven crop insights tool – is heading to the World Potato Congress at the end of May, as it continues to showcase on the global agricultural stage the actionable insights it places in the hands of growers. It comprises of a patented technology that provides timely insights on root crops as they are lifted – presenting growers with valuable information on the size and count over a whole field.
The Ceres 450 is AVR’s 4-row trailed potato planter that can be combined with tilling equipment, such as the specially designed AVR GE-Force C ridge cultivator, the basic AVR GE-Force and with other brands. All new Ceres 450 planters can be built optionally with the new ISOBUS link. This allows the planter to communicate with a GPS system via the ISOBUS protocol.
Hybrid potato innovator Solynta and seed enhancement company Incotec announced at the International Seed Federation (ISF) congress today they have entered in a collaboration agreement. By combining forces, the group will bring world class seed technology and elite genetics to potato farmers worldwide.
The new Bosch BASF partnership, Smart Farming, will soon introduce a new “SmartSprayer” that promises to deliver conservation results and save money for farmers in the U.S. and around the world, to the tune of up to 70 percent cost savings on herbicides. The new spraying technology uses cameras and additional lighting sources on sprayer booms to identify weeds in the field.
A New Brunswick company on the cutting edge of the province’s agricultural industry has just closed a $300,000 pre-seed investment round. The money will help Picketa Systems deploy its instant plant nutrient sampling technology into Atlantic Canada’s potato industry. “We’re developing real-time plant tissue analysis to be able to instantly tell farmers what nutrient concentrations their plants are, and what to buy,” founder and CEO Hébert-Couturier told Huddle.
Snow Valley Food is the owner of a leading frozen french fry processing industry group of companies in Asia. Partnering with global potato processing experts and installing fully automated TOMRA production lines plays a core role in their peeling and sorting process and meeting their own high standards.
Belgian real-estate developer Ion was looking for sustainable heating alternatives for a new residential area in the city of Veurne when it received a proposal from a surprising source: PepsiCo. The vapor from cooking up to 20 tons of potatoes per hour could heat a water circuit, replacing natural gas with a more environmentally efficient process while simultaneously providing PepsiCo with a valuable carbon offset.
Considering a new or new-to-you potato planter? Here’s the pros and cons for the most common styles available today: Pick planters, belt planters, air-cup planters. Article by Darren Demers, Lockwood Equipment Specialist.
Crop Systems Ltd introduces ‘SmartSola’, giving store managers full control of solar energy produced on site
“Always at the forefront of technology, our latest innovation SmartSola has been launched giving our customers full control of the solar energy they produce,” according to Ray Andrews, Managing Director of Crop Systems Ltd in the UK. SmartSola™ is a new software program that looks at the power needed to run a store and, if that power is available from a renewable source, like solar or wind, utilises that power in preference to it being exported to the grid.
Tong Engineering is looking forward to returning to the NEC Birmingham on 4th & 5th May 2022, to exhibit once again at the UK’s largest farm machinery show LAMMA, on stand 7.668 in Hall 7. Since the industry last met at LAMMA back in 2020, the leading handing equipment manufacturer has launched several new products and equipment advances. And now, at the re-scheduled LAMMA event, Tong is set to showcase these latest developments.
Potato stores require large amounts of energy, so is solar PV an attractive investment? Stephen Robb investigated for Irish Farmers Journal. Robb looks at two example potato farms with cold stores, storage sheds, processing/sorting facilities and packing facilities and analyses how installed solar PV systems impact on their overall operation and cost to maintain and operate.