Dutch farmer says innovation, precision farming key to the future of food production

Dutch farmer Jasper Roubos | Bayer
Dutch farmer Jasper Roubos, who runs an operation in the reclaimed flat lands close to Amsterdam, is committed to high quality seeds, crop protection and precision agriculture.

Roubos, who grows potatoes and other crops on very fertile land, said the pressure to produce is increasing.
Innovation is needed, Roubos said, and he partners with Bayer Crop Science to ensure his farm, Het Groene Hart, is healthy for humans, crops and the dozens of local wildlife species.

Roubos said his day begins at 5.30 a.m. and continues into late evening, sometimes six days a week in the growing season, in a posting on Bayer's website.

The pressure to produce more and more food worldwide on the same amount of land is increasing” Roubos said in the posting. “I think the pressure comes from increased global warming. The need for crop protection and precision agriculture will continue.”

To protect the plants, Roubos said he has to fight against harmful insects and weeds. “I apply crop protection products to check the level of infestation regularly and decide whether an insecticide is really necessary,” he said.

Roubos has an on-site bee colony to pollinate the crops and utilizes the services of an expert beekeeper to make sure the colonies are healthy and happy. And it helps to have fresh honey.

“For the preservation of water quality, we have invested in a floor that is water proof. There I can clean my machine.” Roubos said. "Wash water is collected within a tank and from there the collected water trickles via computer control into the Phytobac tank.” Bayer’s Phytobac system sprinkles the water over straw and soil substrate, after which it then evaporates, making sure contaminants do not reach nearby bodies of water.

Roubos said he is committed to high quality seeds, crop protection and precision agriculture, as well as innovations that focus on human and environmental health to ensure that his farm is healthy for humans, crops and dozens of local species.

“I am motivated to take over the family business and take it to a whole new level so that the it is equipped for the future and my son can eventually take it over,” Roubos said. “My incentive is to farm in a sustainable and honest way and not at the expense of the environment.”

After a long day Roubos  said he relaxes with his wife Eveline and children.

Eveline Roubos said husband is “honest and very passionate, and starts each day with enthusiasm and looks at what he can improve.”

And she added that being married to a farmer is being married to a way of life.

Organizations in this story

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