Pilot project with Dutch innovative soil moisture control at Ukrainian potato farms

Published: January 27, 2022

Pilot project potato farms
Photo: © Agurotech / https://ecolog-ua.com/

A pilot project with innovative Dutch precision farming technology has been implemented at Ukrainian potato farms.

The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality recently reported on the implementation of this pilot project applying innovative Dutch precision farming technology at Ukrainian potato farms, carried out with DHI finance of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

High correlation between potato yield and sufficient moisture
The Dutch Ministry cites an article published at the portal of the Professional Association of Ecologists of Ukraine, mentioning that lack of moisture and unexpected droughts have become a more frequent reality for the Ukrainian agricultural producers. ‘Ukraine is among those countries on the map of Europe which are characterized by the scarcity of water resources’, the Association states, adding that evidence of a high correlation between the yield and sufficient moisture available during the period of growth and maturation of crops, is also shown by the preliminary results of potato yield in parts of Ukraine.

Data analysis to increase agricultural productivity and optimize water use
Dutch company Agurotech has developed high-precision models and software for farmers, that help increase agricultural productivity and optimize water use based on data analysis. On its website, the company explains that for this pilot project they work with five potato farmers in Ukraine, demonstrating the local applicability of their technology in an international context. ‘For this project we collaborated with Wageningen University & Research to leverage the latest crop- and soil science for optimized irrigation advice. We provided farmers with connectivity solutions, sensors and the App to introduce them to data-driven irrigation management for an entire farming season’, Agurotech states.

Measuring soil parameters at four depths
The Professional Association of Ecologists of Ukraine explains that five farmers in Ukraine have tested one of Agurotech’s smart farming solutions, a soil moisture management system. Sensors measuring soil parameters at four depths (15, 30, 45 and 60 centimeters deep) were installed. These wireless sensors measure soil moisture, humidity and air pressure, air and soil temperature, electrical conductivity, and added weather data. The participating farmers can monitor soil moisture in real time with a mobile application during the season, to get accurate recommendations for irrigation: where, when and how much irrigation should be applied to increase productivity and sustainable growth. The pilot project is currently still running as participants are reportedly enjoying the benefits of applying innovative technologies and the user friendly mobile application of the Dutch smart farming company.