The UK produces 120, 000 tonnes of strawberries from ca 4700 ha, with a value of £659m at retail. Predicting the timing and yield of strawberries is critical for the industry but is extremely difficult to do accurately. Inaccurate forecasts cost the industry in terms of lost sales, distress promotions and cause supply chain friction.
Ceres is funding a project to develop a strawberry yield forecasting system, based on varietal specific berry data, which provides actionable forecasts for growers via a grower-friendly interface.
This system will give strawberry growers significant benefits in terms of improved sales, as they are better able to match supply and demand through supply chain confidence. It will also allow for more efficient labour scheduling and reduced crop waste through better crop utilisation.