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In 2023 three bilateral innovation projects received funding, aiming to speed up the commercialization of innovative technology and the exchange of knowledge between US and Dutch fruit growers and ag tech companies. The projects focus on precision spraying on a tree level and on non-invasive evaluation of the internal quality of apples. Below you find an update of their proceedings.

Munckhof & Aurea’s imaging and precision spraying technology tested in WA State 

Dutch companies Munckhof and Aurea Imaging started a project to demonstrate and adapt their imaging and spraying technologies for local needs in Washington State. 

In 2023 Aurea Imaging visited the United States twice, showcasing the integration of their digital agronomy solution with the Munckhof 3-row smart sprayer, hence drawing attention to tree-level precision spraying for the first time on American soil.

During their first trip in May 2023, they dedicated days to setting up the sprayer and training farm managers on its functionalities, while discussing blossom management approaches with Columbia Fruit Packers, one of the pioneers of precision Ag technologies in Washington State. These conversations revealed valuable insights into regional challenges and farming techniques in the United States and enabled fast knowledge transfer between Europe and America.

In the Summer of 2023, they visited Washington State for a second time to perform vigor mapping and showcase the benefits of per-tree-level growth regulation and root pruning based on vigor maps. Aurea attended the Smart Orchard field day in Prosser and consequently received several invitations for personal visits to various farms in the area for further collaboration.

To date, the BIS project has been successful in creating cross-border collaboration and knowledge transfer. Aurea Imaging has been exposed to several potential customers and partners, thanks to the efforts of Ines Hanrahan and others in Washington State. They have plans to continue working with Columbia Fruit Packers and Washington State University in 2024 and they are excited to welcome an Orchards of the Future delegation to the Netherlands during their trip in May 2024. 

Progress of the three Bilateral Innovation Collaboration projects between the Netherlands and Washington States
Progress of the three Bilateral Innovation Collaboration projects between the Netherlands and Washington States