Patatoes Averis Seeds visual inspection with OrangeNXT

Improved selection of new potato varieties thanks to image recognition

Averis Seeds

  • 25 August 2021
  • 7 min

Averis Seeds, a subsidiary of AVEBE, specialises in breeding new potato varieties for the members of the cooperative, with the aim of ensuring continuity with maximum yields. At most 1 out of every 10,000 seedlings derived from the crosses made by Averis leads to a successful market introduction.

To improve the required selection process and remove any subjectivity, Averis started a pilot with automatic image recognition, in which the visual characteristics of a potato are assessed by an algorithm instead of needing human interaction. This pilot was so successful that parent company AVEBE also wants to deploy image recognition.

'When you learn something it inspires you to take the next step. One innovation provokes another. That made the value of this project higher than what we had expected when we began,' - Johan Hopman, Manager Breeding & Research Averis Seeds

New potato varieties

The market constantly needs new potato varieties that are more resistant to ever-changing diseases, climate change and that also grow well with less fertilisation and fewer pesticides. It takes at least ten years from the time the first seeds of a new cross are sown until a new variety is available as seed potatoes. "We can't shorten the time-span of ten-years, but we can apply better selection to make sure that we don't accidentally throw away potatoes with good traits or overlook bad traits," says Johan Hopman, manager Breeding & Research at Averis Seeds.

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John Koot - Sales and Marketing Director - OrangeNXT