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Potatoes – Van Den Borne, Netherlands

Potatoes – Van Den Borne, Netherlands

This case study demonstrates how technology, innovation and a strong business sense have resulted in a well-capitalised, results focused business. The farm has a strong ethos of innovation which results in continually assessing and re-assessing practices to get the best from their farming enterprise. Working collaboratively with the industry, Farm Frites, and enthusiastic to share best practice this farm demonstrates some of the key elements of what it is to be a Flagship Farm.

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Key areas of good practice
The key initiatives undertaken by the ‘Van den Borne’ farm are:
  • Precision farming.

  • Real-time variable fertiliser applications based on soil nutrient availability and crop requirements.

  • Soil sampling and scanning ensure applicable soil properties are measured and relevant actions are taken – from addressing areas of compaction through to monitoring of nutrient profiles.

  • Position of tramlines are calculated to ensure that field operations are undertaken in the most efficient.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) assists with efficient field operations and reduces overlaps.

  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) are used to scan fields to provide data to help determine management decisions and actions.

  • Crop measurements and monitoring provides further data to determine management decisions and actions.

  • Variable rate crop protection applications optimise chemical use and efficacy

  • Yield measurement at harvesting provides data to help define future management decisions.

  • Decision support software & hardware provide real-time data to determine management actions.

  • The farm has constructed a straw bio-bed system where any residues from spraying are deposited and then allowed to degrade. The basis of the system is that it uses wind and sunlight to evaporate the water constituent and the remaining chemical residue is broken down within the straw bio-bed.

  • The farm provides potatoes to the local community food bank.

  • The farm has calculated its ‘Carbon Footprint’ with the total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions being assessed; the aim is to devise an action plan to reduce both emissions and energy use.

  • The farm has several field borders planted with species rich flowering plants and insect hotels have been placed in appropriate locations around the farm. A local beekeeper also has hives on the farm.