Benchmark your agricultural practices against the Dutch

Onions, potatoes, or any crop, have to be harvested, transported, stored, handled, processed and packaged as efficiently, cost effective and product friendly possible.

Our mission:

From the field to the table in the most efficient, cost effective and product friendly way.

To obtain maximum value for your potato crop, your onion crop,or any harvest, your crop has to be: harvested, transported, stored, handled, processed, packaged at minimum costs, in the most efficient and product friendly way.

This webpage does not pretend to know it all, but covers all the above mentioned steps in such a way that any onion or potato producer in the world will find enough information, tools, material and links to, at least, make him think in how to increase his potato crop or onion crop value.

Mechanization fights inflation and crop rotation will reduce costs.

Why are these the two best weapons to fight increasing production costs in agriculture?


Because yearly human wages will rise through time, but well negotiated interest rates for financing mechanization, will not.

Crop rotation

Because soil will not be depleted of nutrients and infested by bacteria and fungi, but rather enriched and purified, resulting in a diminished need for fertilizers, bactericides, fungicides and pesticides.

Dutch farmers have used these two weapons with spectacular results over the last 50 years, dramatically decreasing their costs.

This dire need to fight food price inflation could even be of interest for investors that are looking for new venues now the Global Economy is going through a major re-alignment and the actual Global Economic Order is been questioned more and more lately. And one of the resources that always will be in an ever greater demand is: FOOD !

Global population to be fed:

Some ideas and opinions with regard to inflation and investments in agriculture:

Inflation Hedge - Farmland Or Gold?

Mechanization Profit in Agricultural

Farming efficiency and the soil

Before the 1700s, the problem of soil fertility had been met by letting half or a third of the land go fallow for a year in two-and three-field rotations. A new four-field rotation was now based on growing specific kinds of crops in a sequence that took from or added to the soil different nutrients. Part of the field did not have to be left fallow, and the continuous use of the land greatly increased the production of forage crops used to support livestock through the winter, thereby vastly increasing the availability of meat and dairy products. The diet of even the poorest improved as they could now afford to augment their daily bread with meat and cheese.

For more:

Our Crop Rotation Tool. or The Industrial Revolution

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During the 5 year period of 2005 to 2010 the Dutch Farmer received, on average, the following prices for:

onions: $ 0,12 per kg, potatoes: $ 0,13 per kg and carrots: $ 0,12 per kg.

These prices include 5 months of storage and delivery.


Question: Can you compete with these prices?

This page, with the collaboration of a group of Dutch, South African and US companies, will take you through the harvest and post-harvest process, step by step, to show you how to improve your crop handling and processing from the field to the final consumer. All the companies involved operate internationally and are owned by farmers or ex-farmers, so our group understands very well what a crop means to a grower. We invite any company that thinks it can add value to this page to contact us.

Our major challenge is to give the producer enough information to start analyzing their actual way of treating their crop from the harvest till its final destination (be it; the local market, a supermarket or an export opportunity).

We think it is a shame that when a crop reaches the consumer, less than 25% of its value, this percentage is decreasing year by year, will have reached its producer. Our mission is to help to invert this yearly trend.

How ? 1) Give you ideas. 2) Assist you to develop your project. 3) Bring the expertise to your project by involving the relevant companies. 4) Once your project is developed, the companies will supply you with quotations. 5) Assist you by implementing your project with very professional and experienced technicians. 6) Very important; train you and your people operating the equipment or installation. 7) Last but not least, maintain an on-going relationship for possible technical assistance and future developments.

Hover Please hover me also your mouse over the colored stripes here below, for the essence of this page.

Producer comtemplating his field
Producer comtemplating his field
Harvesting on time
Harvesting on time
Transporting the product from the field during the harvest
Transporting the product from the field during the harvest
Storing the crop
Storing the crop
Post harvest handling
Post harvest handling
Processing the harvested product
Processing the harvested product
Agriculture in the Netherlands and it's production costs
Agriculture in the Netherlands and it's production costs
Questions about agriculture
Questions about agriculture
Mechanization fights inflation
Contact us

1)  The harvest.

The 4 principle objectives of a successful harvest are:

  1. Harvest at the correct moment.
  2. Get the harvest as quickly as possible from the field.
  3. Avoid physical damage to the product.
  4. Harvest at minimum cost and time.

Taking these 4 objectives into account we will discuss the following themes:

  1. How do we determine the adequate moment of the harvest, taking into account the final destination of the produce.
  2. An exhaustive comparison between a manual harvest, partially mechanized harvest and a completely mechanized harvest , always having in mind the final destination of the product.

When considering mechanizing the harvest the following should be considered: If the whole process from the harvest till the final sale of the product is done manually, mechanizing the harvest is probably not the right start.

A mechanized onion or potato harvest will generate a product flow of about 20 to 30 tons of product per hour. And if there is no infrastructure to receive these 20 to 30 tons per hour of product, like for instance a storage facility or mechanized packaging installation; the problem is how to handle this product flow.

But, harvesting onions for storage or harvesting potatoes for storage should be done mechanized. The reason: mechanized harvesting goes much faster and there for the harvest will arrive in a homogeneous condition at the storage installation.

The harvest or Top of page

2) Transport the harvest from the field to the storage.

In this chapter we only analyze the transport from the field to the installations for possible storage and handling. The way of transporting the crop from the field is determined by the following: storage or no storage, what kind of storage system will be used and what is the product's final destination.

For instance, the transport of a product that goes into bulk storage is different from transporting a product that will be stored in boxes (bins), or not stored at all on the premises.

We will have a look at the most basic systems and the most sophisticated (completely automated and computerized) installations.

The transport the crop from the field to the storage or Top of page

3)  The storage (To dry, to cure and to store onions potatoes or any crop)

The question is: To Store or Not to Store the crop?

The decision to store or not to store is probably one of the most difficult decisions for the grower because of the relatively large investment.

But if the market requires it and the product is fit to store this investment can be very profitable by putting the producer in a much ber position to negotiate the sales price and makes him less dependant on his regular customers.

With adequate storage the farmer is going to be in a position where he can choose his clients.

In this central chapter storage is analyzed with regard to the question:

"To store or not to store?"

  • When is an onion or potato fit for storage? ?
  • What are the major risks of storing a product that is not fit for storage?
  • How to store a product, taking into account its final destination!
    (For instance the storage conditions to store potatoes for chips are completely different to the storage conditions for seed potatoes.) ?
  • The different storage systems that are available today.
  • How do these installations function?
  • And much more...

Storage of onions, potatoes or other crops or Top of page

4)  Potato handling and onion handling equipment.

From now on we are going to "ADD VALUE" to the harvest.

An onion stem cut at the market length, well graded onions or potatoes and well cleaned potatoes are all examples of "ADDED VALUE" opportunities for the harvest!

Why give away for free all these "Added Values" to the rest of the distribution chain?

The farmer, who works and invests more than anybody else in the production of onions and potatoes is in the perfect position to add all these "Added Values" to the product and reap the benefits of these "Added Value Opportunities!". We will show you a variety of installations to add value to the harvest.

Handling of the Harvest or Top of page

5)  Processing potatoes or onions.

Another way to add value to the harvest is process the product into a completely different product. During the last 15 years all the statistics show clearly that the business of the industrialized processed potato and onion grew at a healthy rate of 15 and more percent while the business of fresh produce hardly grew at all.

So why not consider, for instance, the very simple process of cutting onions and packing them in vacuum sealed plastic bags (the price of the onion will at least triple per kg).
Or consider processing the potatoes into:

  • Potato starch
  • Flakes
  • Pre-fried frozen French fries
  • Or a simple small chip line for the local market.

Processing the harvest or Top of page

6)  Packaging, another added value for the harvest.

Another important added value for the producer can be:

Weighing and packaging his crop!

More and more, the grocery stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets sell their onions, potatoes, carrots or other vegetables packed in bags of between 2 to 5 kg. The packaging can be very simple, (like a netted bag with or without a small label), to very elaborate packaging with the store logo printed on it, even including the bar-code to facilitate better store administration. The stores prefer to work with packaging because:

Why should a farmer not deliver this service to the local stores and add more value to his own product?

Packaging or Top of page

7)  Anything in agriculture that could add value to the crop.

  1. A deeper look at the extreme low price of onions, potatoes and other produce in the Netherlands where labour costs exceed € 15 per hour, diesel is € 1.50 per liter, fertilizers and seeds are 10 to 15% higher than in most other parts of the world, and land prices are exceedingly high (due to dense populations). How do they manage this? We will benchmark cost/pricing versus proposed investment.
  2. An exchange rate calculator to calculate pricing in foreign currencies.
  3. A tool to calculate the financial differences between mechanized harvesting and storing as opposed to manual harvesting and selling the product directly from the field to the market.
  4. A tool to rotate crop in the correct way. Correct crop rotation is one of the most important weapons against plagues, fungi and land depletion and a tool to minimize fertilizing and optimizing crop yield.
  5. Other potential projects will be discussed here.
  6. And anything of interest in agriculture that comes our way in the future.

Agriculture or Top of page