A blue, potato-shaped sensor for in-store monitoring of potato crops and an app that estimates your potential crop yield from a photo and a blue mat have been launched by Metos UK at the recent British Potato event.
Inside the blue tuber-shaped SolAntenna are sensors to measure and track temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in store. The data collected by the sensors enables growers to assess storage conditions and take action to prevent in-store rots.
The SolAntenna has a long battery life and can be placed anywhere within the store in both box and bulk storage. The wireless sensors transmit data to a virtual dashboard, which is accessible on mobile and computer, with real-time data available on connected devices.
The SolAntenna is eligible for the new Farming Equipment and Technology Fund under category FETF117 crop storage sensors. A complete kit including 5 SolAntenna sensors, data gateway and repeater, 4G router, and one year’s annual data licence costs £3,945. The only recurring costs are the annual data licence at £49 per sensor.
“Our approach to digital crop protection means that growers can select the hardware, software and artificial intelligence services that meet their business needs, regardless of the range of crops they grow, or their location,” explained David Whattoff, managing director of Metos UK.
“These innovative new products for potato growers add to our existing range of robust in-field sensors which provide insights to help improve disease and pest control, crop nutrition, and optimise water use for irrigation.”
Crop size estimation
The company also introduced SolGrader at British Potato. This is an app that estimates crop size and yield from a photo taken in the field. With some data inputted to the app, and a photo of a sample of the crop taken on a special blue mat with a red square, SolGrader will calculate the estimated tuber size distribution, overall crop weight, yield and value.
SolGrader allows growers to estimate yield in the field, and assess likely yield by field, variety and management factors. It will also help growers to identify poorly performing areas of fields.
Information on spray conditions
Metos UK has also launched its Application Optimisation System (AOS), which gives growers vital information on spray conditions in the field and helps sprayer operators to ensure they adhere to best practice guidelines for PPP application.
The AOS in-field ultrasonic wind sensor is connected to an ISOBUS terminal which provides real-time wind speed and potential drift risk information to sprayer operators, managers, and agronomists.
Data is available instantly on a smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. The sensor is easy to install, with a robust design intended to last many years, and with minimal maintenance costs.