Arctic Potato Farming in Norway: Soil Scout Sensors Assisting Agronomic Advising

In the picturesque landscapes of Norway, where potatoes are a staple crop, the advent of Soil Scout soil sensors is contributing to the way farmers receive agronomic advice.

Meet Ulrike Naumann, an agronomic advisor working with Tromspotet, an arctic potato packaging company that serves mostly northern Norway with some reach all the way south to Oslo. Tromspotet deals in a variety of potato products, including 2,000 - 2,500 tons of fresh potatoes. During the winter, their focus shifts to storage and packaging planning, but come summer, it's all hands on deck as they work closely with farmers to ensure optimal potato cultivation.

An Addition Tool to Agronomic Advising

Farmers have embraced a novel method of receiving agronomic advice by investing in Soil Scout soil sensors. These sensors allow for remote monitoring of soil conditions, reducing the need for Ulrike Naumann to travel extensively to farms. The collaboration between farmers and advisors operates through a cooperative, where monitoring extends from planting to packing.

The journey into this technology began with frost monitoring. In the challenging climate of Norway, knowing when the soil has thawed is crucial for potato planting. Soil Scout provides a crucial window of 2-3 days, maximising the efficiency of planting operations.

Our biggest challenge is to grow arctic potatoes well in this very short season. That is where the sensors help us with data both in winter time and summer time, Ulrike explains.

The sensor system will not cut it alone

Naturally, in addition to temperature monitoring, Soil Scout has the ability to monitor the amount of plant available water, the 'water balance' in the soil. On the Agdir platform, farmers can combine this data with precipitation and irrigation information, empowering them to make informed decisions about watering their crops.

The big and important deal for us is the integration with Agdir, together with weather stations, weather forecasts and plant pest warning systems, all in one.

While there were alternative solutions available, Agdir's farm management software with the integrated Soil Scout data stands out for its user-friendliness. It was found easy to understand and adapt, making the transition to this technology seamless.

Together, Agdir and Soil Scout are improving agronomic advising and the potato production itself by providing both farmers and advisors with real-time, auditable data. This technology eradicates lots of guesswork and uncertainties regarding agricultural decisions.

It is about the farmers and us learning and getting experience together. The remote and real time access to reliable data helps us with that, it can make some decisions easier and enriches our professional discussions and our shared goal – producing and selling 1A potato quality.

Decisions become auditable as its grounded in objective data with feedback. Advisors can confidently justify recommendations, and farmers know their choices are based on reliable information.

The integration of Soil Scout soil sensors into the agricultural landscape of Norway, particularly in the potato farming sector, is a testament to the power of technology in enhancing crop yields and optimising resource management. With frost monitoring, water balance tracking, and other innovative features, Soil Scout is helping both advisors and farmers to achieve success in an ever-evolving agricultural landscape.

Photo credit: Ulrike Naumann, Tromspotet

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James Baylis

Head of Creative Content at Soil Scout. With over 20 years experience in the design, media and photographic industries, James has a passion for promoting the Soil Scout solution through creative content and marketing.