New insights into potato crop development during extreme weather conditions

A Belgian project is gaining insight in potato crop development and quality during extreme weather conditions.

According to an article by Potato World Magazine, in spring 2021, a massive citizen science project called ‘CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin’ (“Curious Noses in the Garden”) was kicked off in Belgium, monitoring and mapping heat and drought in great detail all over Flanders between April and October.


An agricultural side experiment of the project, coordinated by Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) Remote Sensing, investigates the impact of extreme weather on the cultivation of potatoes. Some 500 smart sensors were installed in 295 potato fields spread over Flanders.


In a recent blog, VITO Programme manager & Team lead Bart Deronde discusses meteorological observations, measurements by the sensors installed on the potato fields and the impact of the extreme weather on the cultivation of potatoes.


VITO will collect all sensors once harvesting has been completed, and start a detailed analysis of the measurements.


The properties measured in the field will be combined with other data. The temperature and soil moisture data captured by the sensors for example will be combined with satellite data, meteorological observations and soil analyses.