Press release ILVO shares its potato expertise at Potato Europe 2023
ILVO is bringing its extensive potato expertise to the largest open-air fair for potato growers. Potato Europe travels across Europe every year and this year it is descending on Tournai on September 6 and 7.
Control of Colorado potato beetles
In hot dry years, Colorado potato beetles are the main pest in potato crops that cause additional costs for crop protection and yield loss. At Potato Europe, ILVO is demonstrating how drones using cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) can effectively help with early disease detection. In a potato field, beetle populations start at a certain location. Determining that location early allows farmers to control the pest in time. That knowledge allows farmers to take targeted control measures and treat very precisely.Drones and AI can detect not only Colorado potato beetles, but also other pests, weeds and diseases. For example, hyperspectral sensors can detect Phytophthora and Alternaria before they are visible to the naked eye. These early observations contribute to more effective spraying.
Fast and accurate diagnoses of potato diseases
The Diagnostic Centre for Plants at ILVO will present at the fair innovative methods to quickly and accurately detect potato diseases. Innovative techniques allow us to make accurate diagnoses in the lab or on site in the field. Using RNA & DNA sequencing, we can determine exactly what disease is present. There are also tests for farmers to perform their own analyses in the field. The tests for farmers can be compared to the self-tests for COVID-19 and can be used to verify what the farmer perceives visually. The DCP is the place to go for examination of diseased plants and for detection of pests in soil, water and stock commodities, among other things.
Potato cyst nematodes under control?
20 years ago, our potato crop suffered greatly from potato cysts caused by the potato cyst nematode (Globodera). Currently, resistant varieties are the solution. However, we see abroad that nematode populations are adapting. Project GLOBEVO wants to map the situation of potato cyst nematodes in Belgium to avoid problems in the future. We count on the help of potato growers to contribute to this research. [ www.nematoden.be]
Platforms and tools for the potato and other agri-food sectors
Test- en Experiment Facility (TEF): Flanders Agrifood TEF (www.agrifoodtefvlaanderen.be) helps farms and companies bring innovations with AI, data and robotics in the agri-food sector to market faster and more successfully. With this Agrifood TEF, ILVO will offer tailored services such as prototyping, image analysis, algorithm training and testing under realistic real-world conditions to test, implement and validate these technological solutions.
The potato sector is also overflowing with data. To share this data safely, efficiently and with respect for the potato grower throughout the agro-food chain, you can count on the data-sharing platform DjustConnect. Besides the technical IT infrastructure, DjustConnect also provides various services and support to farmers, companies and organizations to achieve their digital transformation. Come discover more about these and other TEF services at the ILVO booth.
Optispray research project: experts present at the booth
The project revolves around economic and environmental gains through efficient spraying. The VLAIO project uses computer models to determine the optimal application technique depending on crop and disease, taking into account different parameters such as growth stage and weather conditions. Thus, in the future, farmers will be able to use an app that will help them spray in the right place at the right time.
ILVO welcomed the visitors to Potato Europe 2023 and informed them about this and other research and innovations in potato cultivation.