Camera images can determine whether a plant is infected with a germ before the external symptoms are visible.
This new technology makes preventive spraying against diseases much more efficient.
The new technology is based on teraherzt camera images, said Marcel Zevenbergen at the Global Future Farming Summit in Wageningen.
Detect pathogens in the plant
Zevenbergen is involved in the development of sensors at technology company IMEC. “The technology is being developed at the One Earth Research Center, where IMEC, Wageningen UR and Radboud University work together. We are already able to measure the root system of a plant while it is in a pot. We can also measure the minerals in the water in a plant. We are now trying to develop a technique that can detect pathogens in the plant. ”
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Marcel Zevenbergen: "We are already able to measure the root system of a plant while it is in a pot." - Photo: Henk Riswick
Sensors becoming smaller, more reliable and cheaper
Zevenbergen has an ideal image in mind, he said in Wageningen. “Sensors collect information about individual plants. All that data is analysed on a server by algorithms. The grower immediately receives feedback. You don’t have to take samples of plants, send them to a laboratory and wait for the results. The sensors are becoming smaller, more reliable and cheaper.”
Robotics coming closer and closer
New technologies are bringing robotics to food production closer and closer, said director Ole Green of the Danish technology company AgroIntelli at the meeting. “That’s important because people don’t want to do monotonous work. Growers are finding it increasingly difficult to find staff. Robots take over that work. The techniques for sowing, weeding and spraying the crop are already ready for use.”
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