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Industrial potato monitoring for the Belgian potato sector (IPOT)

Projet de recherche SR/00/312 (Action de recherche SR)

Personnes :

  • Dr.  COOLS Romain - Négoce et transformation belges de pommes de terre (BELGAPOM)
    Coordinateur du projet
    Partenaire financé belge
    Durée: 1/6/2014-31/5/2017
  • Dr.  CATTOORS Nele - Négoce et transformation belges de pommes de terre (BELGAPOM)
    Partenaire financé belge
    Durée: 1/6/2014-31/5/2017
  • Dr.  PLANCHON Viviane - Centre Wallon de Recherches agronomiques (CRA-W)
    Partenaire financé belge
    Durée: 1/6/2014-31/5/2017
  • Prof. dr.  TYCHON Bernard - Université de Liège (ULG)
    Partenaire financé belge
    Durée: 1/6/2014-31/5/2017
  • Dr.  PICCARD Isabelle - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO)
    Partenaire financé belge
    Durée: 1/6/2014-31/5/2017

Description :


General objectives
The iPot project aims to develop geo-information products for both the Belgian potato processing industry and research centres focussing on the cultivation of the potato crop, as an answer to the industry’s specific questions and information needs regarding crop condition and growth monitoring on the one hand and yield estimates and forecasts on the other hand.

Specific objectives
- To define the characteristics of the potato monitoring system (products) to be developed based on the needs of the end users.
- To develop prototype products for potato crop growth monitoring, at field level, based on the integration of field observations, close range sensing measurements, satellite images and crop growth models.
- To develop a web based geo-information platform for potato monitoring that can be used by the potato processing industry and the potato farmers to retrieve information at field level. At the same time this platform can be used to exchange field data made available by the industry with research groups. This will have a positive impact on potato related research in Belgium.
- To demonstrate the service in near-real time to the users in 2015 (limited number of products) and 2016 (full demo).
- To describe the methodology to derive these products in an operational way.
- To describe and demonstrate to the user group how to use the products.
- To communicate the results to the wider user community (potato processing industry, farmers, traders, research centres,…).
- To provide a plan for continuing the developed service after the end of the project, based on private funding.


Existing products for crop monitoring and yield estimation in Belgium such as those developed in previous BELSPO projects (B-CGMS, ADASCIS, GLOBAM) or in FP7 projects (ISAC) will be combined into iPot products that are adapted to the specific needs of potato processing industry and developed in close collaboration with the sector.
In practice, potato growth and development will be monitored using a combination of EO and modelling techniques. A multi-scale approach is proposed, integrating field observations and close range sensing measurements with UAV and satellite images taken at regular intervals during the growing season (for crop monitoring) and with crop growth models (for yield assessment). The information will be made available in the form of geo-referenced maps and graphs accessible via a web based interface.


An important scientific outcome is a data exchange platform for both industry and research community. The use of webservices allows for a multi-level access to the backend data and processes. Non trained users will use the standard geospatial web platform and will not interact at this level. Researchers can access the webservices directly from their own code, allowing more detailed and complex access to data and processes or models at different levels.


The outcome of the iPot project is a working proof of concept based on tightly integrated web services and a central project website offering geo-information products for potato monitoring in Belgium:
- Yield estimate and forecast
- Information on crop growth and development at specific field scale:
o Maps with the actual development stage of the potato crop
o Crop emergence maps illustrating the time (date) and degree of crop emergence and crop closure (in terms of % cover).
o Crop senescence maps reflecting the % cover of non-photosynthetic active vegetation
- Information on field condition at local level:
o Photosynthetic activity / vegetation productivity
o Vegetation moisture status
o Soil moisture
o Temperature and solar radiation
These products are reflecting the intra- and inter-parcel variability. Status maps, as well as anomaly maps will be provided (comparing the actual status with the reference).

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