Investing in a site specific precision sprayer
A young farmer invested in precision farming through the acquisition of a new sprayer; combining cost savings and environmental protection.
Wim Katerberg, who is 26 years old, together with his parents, farms a 300-hectare arable farm in the Zuidwolde area of the Dutch province of Drenthe. Their main crop is starch potatoes and they also grow sugar beet, summer barley, grass seed and silage maize. At the end of 2016, Wim applied for RDP support to acquire a new sprayer machine that would allow him to do precision farming. Thus, he bought a Horsch sprayer capable of site-specific precision spraying.
The new field sprayer applies fertilizers or pesticides closer to the roots and adjusts the fertilizer quantity to the needs of the crop. Before the foliage is sprayed, biomass cards are made using satellite images. These cards 'tell' the sprayer where the leaves have already died and where they haven’t, so that there is no need to spray everywhere. The sprayer also enables farmers to adjust the amount of soil herbicides based on the organic matter content of the soil. Also, the syringe causes less drift since the spray height is lower compared to conventional syringes.
Thanks to the new machine there are cost savings and a reduced impact on the environment. For example, in potato cultivation 2 litres of pesticides per hectare are required with conventional agriculture, but with the new site specific sprayer, only 1.3 litres of product are needed per hectare.