The Grass4Farming project aims to deliver a proof of concept in 2017 for precision fertilisation strategies for grasslands based on location- and time-specific soil and crop data. In addition, it will be investigated to what extent this can be included in the business operations of dairy farmers in the years ahead.
The eBee of contracting firm Thijssen will be used for crop observation during growth. Experiences from previous flights over grassland plots of Dairy Campus in 2015 and 2016 inspire enough confidence to deploy it in a fertilisation experiment. The eBee seems stable and seems to provide a good indication of the grass biomass. During mowing, a mower of Kverneland will be fitted with a pasture reader in order to be able to measure the spatial variation in grass yields as well. The location-specific soil properties have been measured with a Veris MPS3 soil sensor. It measures five soil properties, including the organic matter content, lutum content, CEC, soil height and pH. A fertilisation experiment is conducted at Dairy Campus where the location-specific spreading of fertiliser is done with the help of an appropriate spreader from Kvernland. The spreading map is based on crop and soil data and is made by Agrifirm Plant. In addition to the experiment at Dairy Campus, an exploratory experiment is conducted on four plots at Kroes dairy farm in order to try out location-specific precision fertilisation on the basis of soil and crop growth.
The above is a CoE Agrodier project led by Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences in which there is intensive cooperation with the PPS DISAC project ‘Connectivity (M2M) and Interoperability to support smart farming’. Experiments are conducted at Dairy Campus and at dairy farm Kroes. The project originates from the Dairy professorship that is part of the educational programme of Dairy Campus.