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More Crops for Constituent Sensing

Knowledge of the constituents (e.g. protein, carbohydrates) of foodstuff is important for consumers as indicators of nutritional value as well as for the food producers concerning processing quality. Additionally, food safety demands full traceability of crop constituents along the complete food processing chain. This includes correct and seamless documentation of all production steps.


One missing piece is real-time measurement of crop constituents during harvesting operations. Knowing constituents already at harvesting time allows for a better segregation of different quality levels, which improves logistics and efficiency in the next processing steps and reduces waste. In addition, protein levels are highly linked to the nitrogen uptake from the soil, which will support a more sustainable balanced nitrogen fertilization in the following years. Therefore, John Deere and its partners will develop integrated smart sensors to measure constituents of crops which can be used on harvesters and food processing plants.

The outcome of the fast track activity will be additional calibration models for the sensor, one curve for oilseed rape in 2022 and one for sunflowers in 2023. The sunflower calibration based on the data of a single year would not be accurate and reliable enough and cannot be finished in 2021. We need at least one more harvest season in 2022. With additional funding during the harvest season 2022, we should be able to offer the product end of 2022 for the 2023 harvest season. So in total we plan to offer two additional products.

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