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Browsing articles by Bill Menkveld

Field and Storage Mapping on the Vander Zaag Farm

Ontario potato farmers Kate and Peter Vander Zaag were among the first to adopt potato yield monitoring and, more recently, field-to-storage load tracking and mapping. Tech-savvy producers who prioritize quality, the Vander Zaags believe capturing quality information is key to growing better potatoes. I sat down with Kate to hear her perspective. Bill: What made you first consider yield monitoring? Kate: When we started seeing yield maps for grain, we thought immediately…

Field to Storage Traceability

A Benefit to Customers and Producers Alike Many agricultural producers are worried about consumers’, packer/processors’ and governments’ demands for increasingly strict, detailed traceability of agricultural products and production practices. Farmers are justifiably proud of the safe, high-quality, nutritious food they produce. Many are both offended by and resistant to the idea that they should have to track, trace, prove and transparently show their products’ production and movement histories, and are concerned that traceability…

The Nuts and Bolts of Yield Monitoring Technology

Given how important and detailed the data is they provide, you wouldn’t be the first person to assume that potato yield monitors must be confusingly complicated and inaccessibly high-tech. The reality is just the opposite. Root crop yield monitors consist of very few components. With a little patience and some basic wrenching skills, a complete system is quite easy to set-up and calibrate in surprisingly little time. But before you race out,…

A Whole New Reality for Yield Monitoring

If you’re firmly against yield monitoring and think it’ll never have a place in your potato fields, I understand. Twenty years ago when yield monitors first made big waves in agriculture, they didn’t offer much benefit to potato farmers. While the monitors churned out reams of data, most farmers were unsure how to translate that data into useful information. Analysis programs seemed to be designed more for statisticians and computer scientists than…

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