SoilEssentials Ltd, which is based in Angus, Scotland, has unveiled an innovative new product for potato growers.
Tuberzone tracks and predicts crop yield and tuber size throughout the season, helping growers to calculate the optimum time for desiccation, and thus maximising the peak value of seed and salad crops. It has been designed to monitor and predict in-field variations in yield and size distribution and predict regional, national and global production.
Tuberzone utilises GPS, drone and satellite imagery and other remote sensing tools, and in addition to predicting crop yield and size distribution during the growing season, it gives growers access to management data including spatial soil and water models, crop canopy measurements etc.
SoilEssentials Managing Director Jim Wilson said: “Tuberzone is a precision farming solution which can not only cut costs, optimise saleable yield and improve resource use efficiency, it is also a whole season process aimed at helping growers, merchants, processors and retailers fulfill market requirements.”
“I believe Tuberzone is the perfect tool for growers who wish to increase financial yields more than physical ones, reduce food waste and have more control of their crop management. Utilising Tuberzone can greatly reduce the number of crop digs required, thus saving the grower time and money, allowing better crop management and ultimately making it easier to meet contract targets.”
Development of Tuberzone in the field began three years ago when SoilEssentials embarked on an ambitious project, supported by InnovateUK and in collaboration with McCain and Grimme. 2018 saw Tuberzone independently verified and validated and therefore ready to provide as a product to commercial potato growers. Subsequently in 2019 SoilEssentials have partnered with Grampian Growers, a farmer owned co-operative based on the East Coast of Scotland, and SAC Consulting in a project to further demonstrate the potential benefits of Tuberzone potato technology.
Jim Wilson continues: “We are proud of our track record for vigorously proving the benefits of Tuberzone in real cropping situations. This gives me the confidence to bring Tuberzone on to the market, with potentially huge benefits for commercial growers.”
“Challenging projects like these continually push the boundaries in this industry and SoilEssentials stand at the front of the queue to get involved and progress. Our expertise lies where technology and good farming practice merge, providing practical solutions designed primarily with agricultural efficiency in mind.”
Further ongoing developments of Tuberzone are extending its functionality into starch, packing and processing crops.