Geskryf deur: Albert Bijker en Erald Amith
PICKLOGGER™ is a game-changing device that helps farmers and their stakeholders to identify and manage various factors that affect the yields of hand-harvested crops. By recording and logging data points during harvesting, PICKLOGGER™ makes it possible for farmers to produce yield maps, giving them a clear picture of how their fields are performing, enabling them to make informed decisions, leading to increased yields and, ultimately, increased profits.
PICKLOGGER™ is a small device (Figure 1) that is attached to harvesting shears. The device records the geographical data of the crop that is being harvested, at the time the fruit is picked. This data is subsequently used to create yield maps which are used to identify low and high-performing areas in orchards or fields. By having this data, informed decisions regarding nutrient corrections, soil management and other horticultural practices or strategies can be made. This in turn will mitigate risks, leading to a higher return on investment, whilst promoting sustainability.
Figure 1 : Example of the PICKLOGGER™ device attached to harvesting shears.
The dawn of the new year is a good time to reflect on the successes achieved by PICKLOGGER™ during 2022, including implementations across multiple territories and crop types. During 2022 more than 3500 PICKLOGGER™ devices were used across the globe in various countries including South Africa, Spain, USA and South America. In total, almost one billion data points were logged. This demonstrates the value PICKLOGGER™ brings to the agricultural industry as it has been well-received in the global market, changing the game for producers of hand-picked crops.
PICKLOGGER™ finds answers
Einstein said that if you want to achieve different results, do not do the same thing over and over! With PICKLOGGER™ that has been the goal – changing the game. During the past season and with the use of PICKLOGGER™-produced information, Agri Technovation, in collaboration with farmers and their advisors, have been able to find and/or identify various problems present in orchards/fields that impacted yield. These factors include the occurrence of alternate bearing and blocked, kinked or damaged irrigation lines. Also, with regards to the soil, it was possible to draw a correlation between yield on the one hand and soil properties (physical and chemical) and soil health on the other. There are many variables in agriculture that affect crop yield. Without a measuring metric (in this instance a yield map), identifying and managing these variables is very difficult, if not impossible. PICKLOGGER™ provides the solution.
The versatility of PICKLOGGER™ was on display during 2022 where it was tested on various crops. Over 2000 ha of commercial citrus and avocado orchard yield maps were produced using the device. Also, through the use of PICKLOGGER™ yield maps were produced for a variety of other crops including cut flowers, watermelons (Figure 2), pomegranates and even ostrich feathers.
Figure 2 : Example of harvesting map created by using PICKLOGGER™ to harvest watermelons. The number of fruits picked in the field is recorded over time and combined with an average fruit weight to produce a yield map indicating lower and higher yielding areas.
Reduce input costs, improve yields
The forecast concerning the citrus and agri-industries published in a recent AgriTrend 2022 publication1 has been noted with concern. More than 56% of the total soft citrus and lemon production area is less than 5 years old and therefore highly likely to influence the average export prices over the coming years. It will therefore be imperative to sustain returns in additional international markets and to effectively manage supply related costs. However, the effective management of only input cost will not be sufficient. What will be even more important is to find ways to increase output (increase yield), in other words, effective yield management. Once again PICKLOGGER™ presents a solution to provide the information that will enable this key success factor of the future.
PICKLOGGER™ can assist farmers to reduce input costs through informed irrigation, fertiliser, ameliorant application and pruning decisions resulting in improved management practices. PICKLOGGER™ can also assist producers to increase their output by providing them with credible information based on recorded data, which can be used to make informed decisions to optimise output – achieving higher yields with less input costs. With the Carbon Tax Act 15 of 2019 set to take effect in 2026, producers should already now start implementing cost management strategies and raise their output.
Overall, PICKLOGGER™ is a powerful harvesting tool that helps farmers and agricultural agents improve crop yields, manage costs and adapt to changing times. With its ability to measure and record data points that make it possible to generate yield maps for high value fruit and other crops, PICKLOGGER™ provides farmers with the information they need to make informed decisions that could lead to increased yields and ultimately, improved bottom lines.
1 Published by ABSA. https://online.flippingbook.com/view/129752020/