Press release From soil and protein crops to controlled data sharing and stray voltage. In Oudenaarde ILVO is once again showing surprising, useful innovations from agricultural research.

tractor tracks in a field
ILVO at Machinery Days (Werktuigendagen) 2021

How market-ready are new protein crops? How can a robot prevent soil compaction? How can farmers safely share farm data while saving time and money? How can you discuss your pressing questions about a crop or your innovative cultivation or processing idea with a specialist, in private and fully confidentially? ILVO showed a wide range of new developments to the Machinery Days visitors.

'Generation Food', new protein crops for food and feed

With the Flemish protein strategy, Flemish agriculture is encouraged to produce local, sustainable protein crops. ILVO showed varieties of field bean, soybean, mixed crop cereals/field beans, chickpea, dry pea. Through the operational group KIK-LOVE, ILVO explores the possibilities for chickpea in Flanders. In the CROPEXPLORE project you hear about possible customers/food companies looking for kidney beans, field beans, dry peas, edamame, ... all for local processing in human food.

In order to share cultivation experiences regarding these new protein crops, ILVO and Boerenbond jointly organized the 'Generation Food' info session on Saturday morning. This event is the fourth in a series that started last autumn. Farmers with knowledge of protein cultivation, and local buyers of protein crops, talk about cultivation aspects, options for processing and possible earnings models and forms of cooperation between farmers and the local market.

Protein crops as chicken feed? One of the outlets is the poultry industry which, like all sectors, is under pressure to avoid the use of soy from overseas. Through the VLAIO-LA trajectory OPTIPLUIM, ILVO - together with Inagro vzw and the Experimental Farm of HOGENT/UGent at Bottelare - wants to show Flemish arable farmers, poultry farmers and the feed industry the way to well-documented use of locally grown, protein-rich leguminous mixed crops. OPTIPLUIM is still looking for new matches between the processors of these mixed crops and poultry farmers (laying and broiler) in both conventional and organic production systems.

Robot 'photographs' soil compaction

Soil compaction is one of ILVO's big concerns. Low crop diversity, heavy machinery, harvesting in wet conditions and decreasing soil organic matter levels are important causes of increased soil compaction and greater susceptibility to erosion. The extent and severity of soil compaction in a field can be mapped with a robot within ILVO's Living Lab 'Agrifood Technology'. ILVO will show how this is done at the Machinery Days. The next step is to alleviate the soil compaction in a sustainable way.

Develop a solution or innovation with an ILVO researcher? Plant Living Lab!

All farmers knows their own crops like the back of their hand, but sometimes questions arise they can't answer. Maybe you want to call on ILVO but don't know who exactly is a specialist in which crop or cultivation system or plant disease? With ILVO's Plant Living Lab, there is now a single point of contact for all plant and crop-related questions. Large or small, individually or with a group of farmers or a production chain together. Whether it's a simple question about weed control or a wild research idea, the Plant Living Lab is always the right address.

Living Lab Plant

Contact ILVO at, read about successful cases and meet the people behind the Plant Living Lab in person!

DjustConnect, a data-sharing highway that eases your mind, run by ILVO and partners

Every machine, tractor, field, and piece of livestock has its own data: invoice data, analyses, tonnages, seed data, parcel numbers, etc. Farmers often have to enter such data several times in different declarations, advisory systems, accounting programs, etc. This is happening while in all possible sectors, automatic data sharing systems exist! Your cell phone knows your location and can immediately share it with a weather forecast app, or a route planner. ILVO explains why DjustConnect is already an added value as a data sharing platform within our agro-food sector: less retyping, for example! And why DjustConnect will soon allow many more apps and applications to run, whereby you, as a farmer who has and shares data, always remain the boss and owner of your own data. Because each 'DjustConnect-er' decides for himself with whom all of that data is being shared, for which application, and for how long. Are you a milk technician? Then you probably know that all of IKM can run automatically within DjustConnect.

"As a farmer, do you know who all you share data with? Do you have a view of the permissions you may or may not have given? And as a farmer, what do you get in return?"... Data is definitely worth an in-depth conversation!

Stray voltage in the barn? Usefu technical info is now available...

Stray voltage is caused by electric currents that literally wander across the metal parts of the dairy barn or milking plant. Ultimately, they choose the easiest path (= the path with the lowest resistance) to flow back to earth. This is precisely where the danger lies: when the cow takes the easiest route, it can be hindered by this, with all its consequences.

ILVO highlighted the problem and the way it is dealt with at the Machinery Days (Werktuigendagen). Their message: There is now a handy compilation of existing knowledge on measurement methods and the detection of stray voltage. And there is a step-by-step plan and a list of tips to facilitate the - very difficult - detection of stray voltage and the establishment of causal links. We already give you a tip: "When constructing a new building, also make a plan for your ground rail and the corresponding potential equalization rails, to which you connect all conductive parts. This starts as early as the grounding of the reinforcement in the concrete."

Zwerfstromen in de stal

The roadmap and report are the result of the operational group 'Zwerfstromen' (Stray Voltage), an EIP project funded by the Flemish government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development EAFRD, in which ILVO, dairy machinery manufacturers and livestock farmers collaborated.


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See also

Project news 23/08/2021

Residual soil cleaned and returned to the field?

chufa or yellow nut sedge
Decontamination of residual soil from potatoes and root vegetables to make it free of nematodes and the weed called chufa or yellow nut sedge, as well as setting up a pilot plant at a processing plant...