Many growers and crop advisors consider site-specific yield measurement as the best way to start with precision agriculture. The technology reveals differences in terms of quantity, and in some crops differences in quality as well. Every farmer knows that those differences are there, but to what extent remains uncertain until they can be measured objectively. Despite the farmer’s knowledge and experience, the amazement about the real differences within a field is often very big.
Possible in virtually every crop
By measuring the crop yield site-specific you not only harvest your crop, but also a huge amount of useful data about the quantity and quality of the crop. Where the first steps in precision farming with GPS were made about 25 years ago, yield measurement technology nowadays is commercially available for virtually every type of crop.
With the arrival of yield measurement systems for root crops about 5 years ago, it became possible to monitor yields in (for The Netherlands at least) big and moneymaking crops. Usually inexpensive weigh cells underneath webs or tanks/bunkers are used which makes the technology suitable for many pulled and self-propelled harvesters including potato, onion, sugar beet, chicory, celery, cauliflower, carrot, cabbage and flower bulb harvesters.