The Belgian potato processing industry is embracing the iPOT project, which collects data from the ground, from air-borne drones and from space-based satellites. The intensive research is building on impressive growth to 80,000 acres of potatoes in 2014. Now that Belgium is the world’s largest exporter of frozen potato products – eclipsing the Netherlands, Canada and the U.S. – the industry must find ways to be sustainable.
By the end of the project in May 2017, researchers expect that for each potato field, it will be possible to:
• Estimate the plant phenological stage as well as the plausible harvest date;
• Estimate the risks of production or quality losses on the basis of temperatures, rainfall and soil moisture data as well as the plant crop status;
• Assess the field spatial variability
• Forecast yields all along the growing season
Source: The Grower research