On the third Thursday of April, the first potatoes for the PotatoEurope harvesting demonstrations were planted under ideal weather conditions. By pressing the start button, acting mayor of Noordoostpolder Jan Westmaas sent autonomous implement carrier Robotti on its way to plant the first potato. The remainder of the big task was handled by planting machines of AVR, Dewulf and Grimme, aided by Case IH tractors.

The planting of the potatoes for the harvesting demonstrations is another important step in the preparations for the PotatoEurope event, to be held on September 1-2 at the location of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) Field Crops in Lelystad.

The potatoes of the chosen Aromata variety were planted under supervision of WUR Field Crops Farm Manager Jacob de Jong. The potatoes of this variety from potato breeding and trading company Schaap Holland are 35-50 millimeters in size and have been planted with a spacing of 28 centimeters. They are being grown on two plots with a total surface of 25 hectares at the event location of PotatoEurope 2021 in Lelystad, where the trade fair and a considerable number of demonstrations will take place on September 1-2. ‘The fieldwork, and thereby an essential part of the preparations for the upcoming edition of PotatoEurope in Lelystad, is proceeding according to plan. What helps is the good soil structure thanks to the frosts of last winter’, De Jong evaluates.

It is the first time that potatoes have been planted with the Agrointelli Robotti, an autonomous implement carrier that can independently perform various agricultural tasks. The robot was responsible for pulling the Miedema CP 42 potato planter, a multipurpose 4-row cup planter. This first-of moment suits within the framework of the Robotisation project, a cooperation between WUR, Agrointelli and Dewulf, for which a part of the PotatoEurope demonstration plot has been reserved.

After the Robotti had initiated the start of the first planting work on the potato demonstration fields, the task was taken over by 4-row planters Ceres 440 from AVR, Miedema Structural 4000 from Dewulf and Grimme’s GB439. The planters were pulled by two showpieces of sponsor Case IH: Maxxum CVX 145 and Puma CVX 175.

‘With planting the potatoes for PotatoEurope 2021, things are becoming more concrete. We are very proud of this absolute first, planting potatoes aided by a Robotti robot for the very first time. During PotatoEurope 2021 in September, the Robotti will also harvest these potatoes. Besides, today it became clear once again that we have set up a great cooperation with all parties involved, among whom manufacturers such as AVR, CASE IH, Dewulf and Grimme, WUR, Schaap Holland and of course the members of the press who were present. This is a great base for the further composition of PotatoEurope 2021’, Kuno Jacobs of organiser DLG Benelux summarized the day filled with potato planting.

PotatoEurope is an international event exclusively dedicated to the entire potato industry chain. The event takes place each year, in one of the event’s four partner countries: Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands. On September 1 and 2 the organisation expects to welcome more than 275 exhibitors and about 16.000 visitors.

Visit PotatoEurope.nl for more information, including:
– Technical characteristics of the machines
– Photos and video (next week) of the planting event