Realize 5-10% more yield in potatoes

At GeoPard we value our customers and their needs above all else, so we are pleased to share this success story from one of our clients Databoerin, an innovative smart farming consultancy firm from the Netherlands.

Our goal is to provide professionals in this field with access to cutting-edge technologies and advanced data analysis so that everyone can benefit from the implementation of precision agriculture. Nothing makes our team at GeoPard happier than seeing our technology being used to improve yields and help farmers, and we sincerely appreciate the business of our valued clients like Databoerin.

Use Case: fertilizing potatoes with GeoPard maps to realize 5-10% more yield

We have been making maps for fertilizing potatoes for a number of years now. The Sentinel-2 satellite data in the Geopard platform provide an excellent starting point for this.

Optimal nitrogen fertilization is fertilization that is tailored as closely as possible to the needs of the crop. It is not easy to determine this, especially on soils where a lot of nitrogen can mineralize in the soil. The best chance of success is nitrogen division. At the beginning of the season a basic fertilization is given (about 60% of the recommended amount) of a combination of manure and fertilizer. The fertilizer ensures that the growth of the plant starts. The manure has a slower effect and mineralization depends on the weather conditions.

With the additional fertilization in the period around the closure of the crop, we can match the needs of the crop as closely as possible. We determine the needs of the crop on the basis of the chlorophyll content in the leaf. The chlorophyll content has a direct relationship with the amount of nitrogen absorbed.

Side-dressing VRA map for the fertilizer spreader
Side-dressing VRA map for the fertilizer spreader

Within a day after Sentinel’s cloud-free images were taken, the Geopard platform provides the processed images with the chlorophyll index RedEdgeChlorophyll that we use in the calculation to determine the amount of nitrogen absorbed. Based on the crop-growth model, the optimal uptake of nitrogen is calculated and the difference is converted into a VRA map for the fertilizer spreader.

Practical tests of a number of years have shown that an additional yield of 5-10% can be achieved with the use of the same amount of fertilizer, but better distributed over the plot.

Distribution of vegetation one month after side-dressing fertilizer
Distribution of vegetation one month after side-dressing fertilizer

An additional advantage is the more even development of the crop. The differences, which remain mostly visible after fertilization, are the differences in potato varieties, visible in the EVI2-index. The even position of the crop also ensures uniform protection against phytophthora and uniform ripening before harvest.

Nicole Bartelds, Director and Smart farming advisor at Databoerin.

To find out how GeoPard can provide geospatial analytics that inform your agricultural business or operation, please contact us and we would be delighted to help.

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