Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek

P2_WUR Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (DLO) is the Netherlands organisation for agricultural research. DLO is a private not for profit research institute with experienced personnel. It specialises in strategic and applied research for industry and public institutions. The Plant Sciences Group (PSG) of DLO produces and integrates knowledge on genetics and reproduction, crop & weed ecology, crop protection, soil biology, agro-technology, climate change mitigation, adaptation strategies, and knowledge transfer.

In particular, DLO has extensive experience in agricultural robotics, sensor technology to support nutrient recommendations, and pesticide application technology. Work on a cucumber harvesting robot started in the late 1990s and is continued in the ongoing FP7 project CROPS (2011-2014). An autonomous tractor-sprayer combination for the application of fungicides in strawberries was delivered in 2013. This system is also used in apple orchards. A robot to control the grassland weed broad-leaved dock was delivered in 2010 (see PU3 below). Recently, a small experimental robot has been used to investigate novel techniques for row detection and row following (see PU4 below).

Work on using crop reflectance measurement for nitrogen recommendations started in the 1980s and has led to recommendation systems for potatoes and leeks. Cost-effective pesticide application technology that combines effective protection of the crop with low emissions to the environment has been a research topic of DLO for many years. Canopy-density spraying (CDS) is a technology where the amount of crop biomass as determined by reflectance sensors is used to vary the application rate: little biomass means that a low application rate provides sufficient protection; this can lead to reductions of up to 90% of the standard rate.

Contact Person

Frits van Evert, Department of Agrosystems Research
+31 317 480573
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