Owner François van Helvoort and farm manager Patrick van Gestel cultivate 34 acres on which they grow lettuce (6 different varieties), leeks, pointed cabbage and celeriac. François and Patrick are following the political developments in The Hague when it comes to the adjustments that are being made for the agricultural sector. Among other things, they see the decrease in the number of permitted agents and fertilization measures as a major challenge for vegetable cultivation in the Netherlands.

Van Helvoort horticulture is provided with weekly cultivation advice for their various crops by Klep-Agro . "Through Johan Bogers of Klep, we ended up with SmartFarm's products," François says. 'We think it's important to move with the times and bet on products and knowledge that can help us further with our daily work. The FieldMate is a real support for us when it comes to spraying. Patrick adds, "We use the Sprayer Planner a lot throughout the season. Especially with long leaf wet periods where scheduling a spray time is very difficult. Then it's better to drive at a time when the pesticide gives the highest possible yield, than to drive by 'feel' and find out later that you drove for nothing.'

In addition to the Sprayer Planner, the FieldMate is also used to monitor the temperature in the various plots. 'We see large differences in temperature in and above the crop, this is very useful information for us for insect control, among other things. Also during the winter, the FieldMate is consulted almost daily for spraying and to assess root activity based on soil temperature.

François and Patrick expect systems such as the FieldMate to become increasingly important in vegetable production. They see a bright future at SmartFarm with the developments in store. 

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