Modern hoeing machines know a lot about the field on which they are active. While weeding, they use camera techniques to detect not only the weeds, but also the crop, so that we hoe between the plants. However, the information is not used in other applications. Together with partners Steketee, Neways and Agrom KG, Wageningen University & Research is researching within the European project IoF 2020 'Added-value weeding data' which added value can be obtained from this data and how it can be used in a user-friendly way for the grower.
During the hoeing, the machine measures both the crop (number and size) and weed pressure (number). These data are automatically uploaded to a farm management system, where it is visualized in heatmaps. For the research, WUR added a crop growth model for lettuce to the farm management system. This model makes a prognosis for the growth of the crop based on data about the crop and the weather forecast.
This gives the grower insights when his crop is ready for harvest and how the yield is distributed within his field. The first tests show that the application of the data and the crop growth model gives a good prediction of growth. This season the growth model will be further tested and validated in Wageningen. Lettuce growers are therefore - partly thanks to the hoeing machine - a prediction of production.