If you grow potatoes for processing, you’re already familiar with the 4-ounce standard. Smaller potatoes can’t be made into the long, golden fries that McDonald’s loves, so growers aren’t really paid for them. How much more could you make? One grower in the Pacific Northwest hired Raptor Maps to find out.
We came to his field and mounted the Harvest Monitor in the evening. The system is self-contained (including its own battery power) so installation was simple. The Harvest Monitor collected data for 3 days straight, which was then analyzed by our Raptor Harvest computer vision software. Here’s what we found.
According to the USDA, growers in Idaho and Washington received an average of $7.20/cwt (hundredweight) for processing potatoes in 2015. Assuming 540 cwt/acre yield, the red part of the graph is worth $1,010 per acre or $131,000 for a 130 acre field.
So here’s the $1,000/acre question…what can you do about it? You’re always experimenting on your farm: new fertilizer prescriptions, seeds, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, tilling methods. Raptor Maps can put these experiments to work so you grow more crops that you get paid for. Previously, you might have dug test strips on a small part of your land and made measurements by hand, but now you don’t have to. With Raptor Maps, now you can prove the ROI of a treatment with statistical significance.