Let’s meet Alex & Anneke
At the organic farm ‘t Meulwater in Kruiningen Alex and Anneke van Hootegem grow different crops. They do this in a biodynamic way and sell the organic vegetables in their store ‘De Grote Verleiding’.
They wanted to use Robot One to control weeds between the various crops, starting with carrots.
People manually remove weeds between the crops at ‘t Meulwater. Personnel is increasingly difficult to find for this type of work, and the actions are perfectly suited to be taken over by a Robot arm.
That is why, in collaboration with FoodDelta Zeeland, a project has started for weed control between carrots. This is a good example of the learning path that Robot One has to take for certain solutions. Zeeland is a specific location because of the soil type and the associated common weeds.
In July 2021, Pixelfarming Robotics visited ‘t Meulwater to discuss the specifications of the solution.
The sting has been designed exclusively for this application. Based on the image recognition of carrots, the robot arms with the sting will stitch weeds. The first tests were carried out in the summer of 2020 on the Campus in Almkerk. Next season we will use Robot One with the sting in carrot cultivation on ‘t Meulwater.
Different crop every year
If you grow the same crop every year, certain fungi, bacteria, nematodes and insects that like to live in, on or between this crop can sustain and multiply themselves. By choosing a different crop every year, you ensure that the conditions for the aforementioned “diseases and pests” become less favorable and that other fungi, bacteria, nematodes and insects can develop. As long as you consistently switch crops, you will get a wide variety of life that is completely in balance.
If you regularly add sufficient organic material (crop residues, animal manure, green manure) to the soil, under the influence of all kinds of conversions by insects, worms, nematodes, bacteria and fungi you will get a good, fertile soil where plants have a sufficient and richly varied food supply. This way they grow into healthy full-fledged plants. And that is the benefit.
Learning how the carrot grows, allows us to work on the best solution. Together.