New Seed Potato Project Taps Latest Satellite Technology
A new project for seed potato producers is one of six initiatives to share new grant funding of GBP438,000 from the European Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund through the Scottish Rural Development Program (SRDP).
The Tuberzone project, centered on Montrose-based Grampian Growers, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Angus-based Soil Essentials has received GBP74,712 to help growers determine the ideal burn-down date for the variety Gemson, by using the latest satellite technology.
Four farms took part in trials last year using a combination of aerial drone footage and manual trial digs, and this year the project has been scaled up to 78 growers stretching from the Black Isle to southern Perthshire.
According to Grampian Growers’ managing director Mark Clark, who was cited by the report, the project is about utilizing new smart technology to replace manual digs and visual assessment. Satellites are now doing 85% of what the drones were doing and eventually drones will be entirely replaced.
Other projects to share the funds include a beef marbling project, delivered by the Scottish Agricultural Organization Society (Saos) and SRUC, which has been awarded £49,000 to use new techniques to identify the best beef animals in a herd.