Alongside cereals, potatoes are one of the most important arable crops in Germany. Around 270,000 hectares are planted with the versatile golden tubers. However, potatoes are much more demanding to cultivate than cereals for example – which is why ISARIA is now supporting farmers with potato cultivation. The potato expert system is now available in the ISARIA CONNECT data management system.
Potato expert system – What’s new?
With the potato expert system in the ISARIA CONNECT data management system, ISARIA is now providing farmers with valuable support in potato cultivation. When using the potato expert system, farmers split the total fertiliser quantity into the following two doses:
- 1st dose: 65% of the total fertiliser quantity before/during potato planting (initial fertilisation)
- 2nd dose: 35 % after vegetative growth (EC39), before flowering
The 2nd dose should ideally be used on an area-specific basis using the ISARIA system. It is possible to measure the N intake while driving over the field using the ISARIA PRO Active or ISARIA PRO Compact crop sensors, and to fertilise at the same time (online) based on one point mode. However, this has to be done before flowering, as the flowers would interfere with the sensor measurement. The second solution from ISARIA is the new potato expert system in ISARIA CONNECT. After a measurement run using the ISARIA crop sensor, this creates an application map. The system is particularly recommended for fertilisation of starch and processing potatoes. In contrast to one point mode, the expert system does not use the average nitrogen intake index for a field and the gradient that depends on it, but uses an algorithm stored in the system. The user only has to enter the planting date, the target yield and the intended usage of the potatoes (table or starch potatoes). It is important that the target yield is not merely an estimation. Accurate information increases the success of the system. The system then calculates the nitrogen intake. Based on these calculations, a fertiliser is flexibly applied to each area, correspondingly precisely to the needs of the crop. The system is also recommended for the second or third area-specific dose.
ISARIA PRO Active crop sensor – Also suitable for potato blight
Potato blight (Phytophthora infestans) is the most important disease in potato cultivation. The fungus, which originated in Mexico, can potentially cause considerable damage and results in substantially lower harvests if it is not effectively suppressed. The ISARIA crop sensor can be used to initiate preventive measures. The biomass of the haulm is measured in one point mode during application of the fungicide. This is a reliable indicator of infestation as a higher biomass due to reduced aeration and drying of the crop is always exposed to increased risk of disease. Particularly in wet and warm weather conditions, weekly fungicide measures are necessary to combat Phytophthora and successfully prevent infestation above the damage threshold – but efficient use of the approved agents is even more important. This saves money and reduces the environmental load. The ISARIA crop sensor allows flexible use of the latest anti-blight agents. These agents are contact fungicides, which take effect via the leaf and no longer via the flow of sap in the plant. To achieve the maximum coverage, a large quantity of water is required. It is easy to adapt the gradient in one point mode to specific requirements (up to 40 % slope at 450 l).
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